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MANCHESTER — Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told Mason Greenwood to forget about speculation surrounding a call-up for this summer’s European Championship and concentrate on scoring goals for Manchester United.
Greenwood has already scored nine goals in his breakthrough season at Old Trafford to raise the prospect of the 18-year-old earning a place in the England squad for Euro 2020.
Gareth Southgate is sweating on the fitness of captain Harry Kane after the Tottenham striker underwent surgery on a torn hamstring but Solskjaer suggested it is still too soon to talk about Greenwood as a possible replacement.
“I think Mason will have a top and long career,” Solskjaer said ahead of United’s FA Cup third-round replay at home to Wolves.
“Let the boy settle first before we talk about England and the Euros. His focus has to be on playing more for us, improving and when he plays more for us that will happen by itself.
“He’s just been picked for [England] U21s so he’s focusing on his football.”
Greenwood is in line to start against Wolves at Old Trafford on Wednesday after coming off the bench to score in the 4-0 win over Norwich on Saturday.
Ashley Young is still not available amid speculation he could quit the club for Inter Milan but Eric Bailly is close to a return after five months out with a knee injury.
The centre-back will play for the reserves on Tuesday and could return to the squad for the trip to Liverpool on Sunday.
“It’s our 14th game in 45 days,” Solskjaer said.
“We’ve still got five or six games before the winter break — it’s relentless — 18 games in 63 days which is physically and mentally demanding.
“We have to energise them. Bad results have to be used as a motivation, as in we’re not there yet need to keep improving. We just need the rhythm. When I was playing I felt we got rhythm of match, rest, match, rest.”
Solskjaer has just over two weeks to add to his squad before the close of the January transfer window.
Sources have told ESPN that United have held talks with Sporting Lisbon about the possibility of signing midfielder Bruno Fernandes but an agreement with the Portuguese side is yet to be reached.
“I’ve got no transfer updates,” Solskjaer said.
“If we get something that we can tell you about we will but I’ve got no news now.”
Meanwhile, United are forecast to drop to their lowest-ever position in Deloitte’s Money League for 2019-20. United were third with €711.5 million, but are at risk of losing their position as the highest-ranking Premier League club for 2019-20 as forecasts show failure to qualify for the Champions League could result in their lowest Money League position ever. Manchester City (€610.6m) and Liverpool (€604.7m) are closing in.
But Solskjaer added: “For me, the most important thing is we get results sorted, get performances on the pitch, that’s got to be my focus. I know we’ve got the resources, we’ve got the backing if we need to go into the transfer market. We are still up there, so we are still in a good place.”