Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Jack Grealish does not have any added motivation to perform well against Manchester United despite being a summer transfer target for the club.
The Aston Villa playmaker is on United’s transfer list with Solskjaer keen to strengthen when the window opens again, and while the Norwegian would not confirm the club’s longstanding interest in the 24-year-old, he said Grealish should take the reports as a compliment.
“I don't think this is the place for me to discuss our priorities in the transfer market. We've been linked with many good players and every individual linked with Man United looks at it as a compliment,” Solskjaer said.
“There's no need for me to discuss where we're going try to strengthen.”
Grealish has been a standout performer for Dean Smith’s side this season and Solskjaer spoke about his threat ahead of United’s trip to Villa Park on Thursday night, but the Norwegian doesn’t believe the transfer speculation surrounding Grealish will act as further motivation for him to put on a good display.
“Every time that any player plays against Man United it’s a challenge. First of all because Man United is a good team, but also because the whole world is watching,” Solskjaer said when asked if he thought Grealish would treat the game as a trial.
“It’s not just playing before the Man United supporters or manager or team, it’s for himself. You want to prove to your family and yourself that you are a good player. I can’t answer any different than that.”
United go into Thursday’s game in good form on a 16 game unbeaten run having won their last three Premier League games.
Since the restart Solskjaer’s side have been given two penalties with Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford taking one each. Should they be awarded a spot kick at Villa Park it will be down to the players to decide who takes it.
“It’s going to be a job that they share. It’s who feels very confident there and then. Bruno scored against Tottenham,” Solskjaer explained.
“I think Marcus would have taken the next one against Tottenham when we got the VAR call that it wasn’t a penalty and I am very confident in both of them, so they have got to make the decision out there. That’s just how we will leave it.”