Tie down De Gea, deal with Sánchez: Solskjær’s key Old Trafford tasks

A top-four finish and positive showing against Barcelona will also be vital to Manchester United’s new permanent manager

Important this, because any projected summer signings will think twice if Manchester United are competing in the Europa League next season. Most people imagined the club would wait until the end of the season before making an announcement on the next permanent manager, if only to wait and see whether Solskjær really could deliver the Champions League place that seemed to be beyond José Mourinho. The club have jumped the gun to an extent, perhaps bceause of the novelty of finding themselves with a universally popular candidate in situ, but the danger is Arsenal and Tottenham holding tight to third and fourth places and leaving Solskjær and his fairytale appointment with a sense of deflation after three months of euphoria.

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