United need miracle to mount challenge next season, says Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: it will be a miracle if Manchester United challenge for the title next season

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: it will be a miracle if Manchester United challenge for the title next season

"It's been a hard period for him", Warnock said when asked about United's recent difficulties under Solskjaer.

Whatever happens in today's final Premier League games of the weekend, Manchester United will finish outside the league's top-four.

Phelan returned to Old Trafford with Solskjaer in December but the agreement was due to end after Sunday's final game of the season against Cardiff before United moved to tie down the 56-year-old with a three-year contract. We're going to have to work hard in pre-season and, now the manager has the job, he can really put his mark on the team. They've spent about £400million since then.

They end the season in sixth, a whopping 32 points behind Premier League champions Manchester City, and Solskjaer is aware that bridging that gap will prove a sizeable hurdle. "I don't like when other managers talk about my players and I wouldn't talk about any others, even if I wasn't or was interested".

"The players have all got their programmes to do over the summer".

"I've had loads of conversations and they've been up front and honest - we know where we are", he said.

Solskjaer, whose side are 29 points behind league-leaders City, said: "Challenging for the title next year would be a miraculous season because we are so far behind at the moment, points-wise".

"It's down to me and the coaching staff".

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It was a sign of things to come when Luke Shaw netted the victor in the opening game of the season against Leicester City, prompting a huge season in the former Southampton defender's career as he looked to get his United stint back on track.

However, when pressed specifically on James, Solskjaer said: "I can't comment on every single individual".

"It's about getting momentum as well".

The Spanish midfielder's contract was all set to expire at the end of this season and he has failed to reach an agreement with the club over an extension.

"Our supporters know football". There are doubts on whether or not others will be able to go, as Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, and Anthony Martial are all game time decisions.

The Manchester Evening News claim the pair want to prioritise "team-focused" signings instead of household names like long-term target Gareth Bale.

According to Daily Express report citing Sky Sports News sources, James has enjoyed a decent season under Graham Potter, attracting a number of top Premier League clubs.

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