Who Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer considered his own Roy Keane – before changing mind

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thought Sean Longstaff could be his modern day answer to Roy Keane before changing his mind about a possible transfer, reports say. The Newcastle star was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford a year ago. But that didn’t happen – and the Red Devils are focused on other targets at the moment.

Manchester United had a fruitful transfer window a year ago, bringing in the likes of Daniel James, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

But, had Solskjaer got his way, Longstaff would have signed on the dotted line as well.

The 22-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford and Tribal Football claim that was because Solskjaer thought he could be his own version of club legend Keane.

It’s claimed that he saw the midfielder as a gamble.

But he was attracted to the Newcastle star because of his running statistics, with the Toon ace covering ‘as much ground last season as any player in the country.’

The United manager reportedly thought Longstaff was symbolic of his ideal midfielder, a modern day Keane, a player capable of winning the ball and mounting an attack in one swift motion.

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But, now, the club have moved on.

Newcastle’s decision to demand £50million from United for their star midfielder has seen Solskjaer and the club hierarchy look elsewhere.

Donny van de Beek is now in their sights, with the Ajax star ticking all the boxes for Solskjaer.

He’s been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid but any move to the Bernabeu now looks unlikely, with the La Liga giants well-stocked in midfield.

Meanwhile, Ajax legend Ronald De Boer recently opened up on Van de Beek and his future in Amsterdam.

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And he admitted that the midfielder would be a shrewd signing for anyone, with United firmly in the picture for his signature.

“When you hear these clubs pass by, I know your heart will beat faster,” de Boer told FOX Sports . “Maybe this train will never pass by anymore for him.

“If Real Madrid again decide not to report themselves at Donny, then I can understand it if he decides to go to Manchester United instead.

“On the one hand, I understand that Real Madrid are hesitating a bit.

“Another club could think, ‘hey, an interesting player, maybe we can get him for a little less’. For example Manchester United.

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“Solskjaer has indicated that he wants to go in a new direction and wants players who are humble, their heart is with the club, a team player.

“I think he is tired of the Pogbas running around. He wants players like Donny van de Beek.”

Van de Beek isn’t the only target on United’s radar.

They still have Jadon Sancho as their priority target, while the likes of Jack Grealish and Jude Bellingham are in their sights too. 

They won’t be landing Timo Werner, though, with the Germany international poised to join Chelsea.

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