MANCHESTER UNITED were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw on a plastic pitch against AZ, but it could have been much worse.
The Red Devils failed to manage a single shot on target as they were outplayed for much of the game – although both teams had clear penalties waved away.
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MANCHESTER UNITED’S search for a new striker has seen Callum Wilson and Mario Mandzukic top their list of potential January targets
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted he is desperate to bring in a forward ahead of any other position when the transfer window opens in three months.
And according to Sky Sports, the two players ate the top of his wanted list are Bournemouth star Wilson and Juventus ace Mandzukic.
The Croatian veteran has been of interest for the past few months with the club showing an interest in signing him in the summer.
At that stage the 33-year-old preferred to stay an fight for his place at Juve, keen to play a part under new manager Maurizio Sarri.
But the former Bayern Munich star has been something of a peripheral figure in Turin this season and is now thought to be open to the prospect of leaving mid-season.
But at an expected price of around £8million, he still represents a financial outlay for a player who is well into the final years of his successful career – not the model of signing United prefer.
Their other option is Cherries star Wilson, who at 27 is now coming into the peak years of his career.
The England striker has proven himself at the sharp end of the Bournemouth attack having finally overcome the knee injuries which blighted his early time on the South Coast.
But Bournemouth have maintained a firm stance to clubs interested in their star striker, and if United were to make a serious move they are likely to have to cough up in the region of £60m.
OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER will not be able to blame the plastic pitch for his side’s poor performance against AZ Alkmaar.
Manchester United failed to have a shot on target in a Europa League game for the first time in their history.
United’s starting line-up cost a whopping £249million, but their performance failed to reflect this as they were held to a 0-0 draw.
Here’s how SunSport’s Joe Miles rated the Red Devils…
David de Gea – 7
Diogo Dalot – 6
Victor Lindelof – 6
Marcos Rojo – 6
Brandon Williams – 7
Nemanja Matic – 4
Juan Mata – 3
Angel Gomes – 5
Fred – 2
Daniel James – 5
Mason Greenwood – 5
MANCHESTER UNITED fans were in hysterics when Daniel James was paired with the tallest mascot ahead of their Europa League clash tonight.
The Red Devils were in the Netherlands to take on AZ Alkmaar, with summer-signing James starting in the United attack.
But when the two teams made their way out for kick-off, Twitter went into meltdown with the choice of mascots.
James is not the tallest – standing at just 5ft 7ins – and the kid he walked out with not much shorter, if at all.
One user said: “Daniel James was given the tallest mascot in United’s game against AZ Alkmaar tonight. You can hardly see him.”
Another wrote: “Nice of Dan James to bring his older brother out as a mascot.”
A third added: “Who ever assigned these mascots is a troll – legit gave Daniel James the tallest one.”
Someone even quipped that “James’ team-mates definitely paid a 32-year-old to dress up like a mascot just to mess with him”.
MANCHESTER UNITED are watching Martin Odegaard but have rivals for the Real Madrid whizkid, writes SunSport’s Mike McGrath.
Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants his fellow Norwegian in the young team he is putting together.
The winger, 20, has impressed on loan at Real Sociedad this season and attracted the attention of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City, as well as United.
Clubs reckon they can land him for £25million next summer with an offer of regular Premier League football — should Los Blancos opt to cash in.
Odegaard was called up to Norway’s senior squad at just 15-years-old.
He moved to the Bernabeu from Stromsgodset at 16 but had just two senior outings.
However, his hot form at Sociedad has seen Zinedine Zidane consider recalling him from his loan.
“He’s just a moderate player!”
“We were discussing what’s his best position, six or eight? Then you think he can’t do either role that well…”
A night to forget for Fred… pic.twitter.com/X3GxsmjgAD
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 3, 2019