Football News

Solskjaer confirms worst kept secret in football; comments on farcical Fred ban

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed returning star Cristiano Ronaldo will make his second Manchester United debut in Saturday’s Old Trafford homecoming against Newcastle.

The 36-year-old returned to the Red Devils he shone for during six medal-laden seasons on deadline day, signing a two-year deal with the option of a further season. Ronaldo has been training with the club this week and will feature when Newcastle arrive at a bouncing Old Trafford in Saturday’s eagerly-anticipated Premier League encounter.

“He’s been having a good pre-season with Juventus, he’s played for the national team, he’s had a good week with us here,” the United boss said.

“He will definitely be on the pitch at some point, that’s for sure.

“Everyone is very happy to have him back, the mood has been very good. We are looking forward to Saturday of course.”

Solskjaer was also at his pre-match press conference how much of a lift does Ronaldo give the rest of the squad, replying: “Cristiano coming back in, just the way he’s conducted himself this week, we know what he’s achieved in his career but he wants to achieve more.

“He puts demands, he’s lived his life with the discipline of a top prof. Ever since I came here he was the first one who did preparation well, every day 45 mins before the training session and we started looking at this kid and he’ll have an effect on all of the players.

“We’ve grown as a group the last few years, the determination, desire focus, bit by bit like bringing Rapahel (Varane) in, he’s brought a winner’s mentality. There’s no place to hide with winners like them, you can’t go in 95% focused, it’s been great having him in.”

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Fred ban ‘a farce’

Solskjaer was also asked about not being able to call on midfielder Fred this weekend.

The Brazilian will miss United’s next two games after Fifa imposed a ban on the Red Devils for refusing to let him join up with his national team for World Cup qualifiers.

The Norwegian added: “Lose, lose situation, national teams, players, clubs, it’s been a farce, really.

“The players want to play but we all know what kind of situation we find ourselves in the last year and a half with the pandemic, to limit the spread of the virus.

“We’ve worked really hard to try and find a way, private jets, there are ways of getting them in and out but all of the decisions have gone against the players, want to play for national teams and clubs but not allowed. Disappointed with the whole thing, common sense might not be common anymore.

“Fingers crossed, some sense comes into people’s minds.”

READ MORE: Bruce makes Ronaldo prediction after laying out plan to spoil Man Utd party

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