Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says it “doesn’t look like” highly-rated teenager Angel Gomes will be staying at Manchester United.
The 19-year-old came through the Old Trafford giants’ academy and made his debut aged 16 in May 2017, becoming the youngest player since Duncan Edwards to feature for the first team.
But Gomes has only made 10 first-team appearances and contract talks reached an impasse, with Solskjaer now expecting the United midfielder to leave when his contract expires on Tuesday.
Asked if the 19-year-old would be staying at the club, the United boss said: “I’ve got no news, nothing, so it doesn’t look like it.”
Gomes was part of England’s Under-17 World Cup triumph in 2017 and 11 days ago Solskjaer was still hopeful that a deal was “not too far away”.
Pushed to clarify if Gomes was leaving, Solskjaer added: “To be honest, I’ve not heard from them last night or this morning, so it seems like that they haven’t managed to agree (a deal), so the answer is probably short and yes then.”
While far from a first-team regular, Gomes’ departure is a blow for a club synonymous with developing and promoting homegrown talent.
Marcus Rashford is chief among the recent graduates to have flourished and is keen to make up for lost time, having sustained a potentially season-ending back injury in January.
The coronavirus suspension has given the England international time to recover, as well as lead some remarkable off-field efforts, but the 22-year-old has yet to add to his 19-goal haul since play resumed.
“Of course, Marcus has been out for a while but I think he’s looked sharp,” Solskjaer said.
“He came on and looked sharp again against Norwich, against Sheffield United he missed one or two chances but the goals he created I think is what we’re focusing on.
“I think Marcus is on his way to the best season ever at Man United, so, for me, I’m just looking forward to him getting more and more minutes. He’ll definitely score a goal soon.”
Rashford looks set to start when United return to Premier League action at Brighton on Tuesday, having required extra-time to overcome Norwich 2-1 in Saturday evening’s FA Cup quarter-final.
That win extended their unbeaten run to 14 matches in all competitions ahead of the trip to the Amex Stadium, where United have lost both their previous clashes with the Seagulls.
Solskjaer is expecting another tough match on the south coast, just as the United boss predicting an intense fight for a top-four spot.
“I think there’s many teams in that battle for third and fourth,” he said. “You’ve got Leicester, Chelsea, us, you’ve got Wolverhampton doing really well.
“Of course, I’m sure Tottenham, Arsenal and Sheffield United still want to put a run together and put a challenge in there, so it’s exciting.
“It must be exciting for all the fans, who have been waiting for so long now to have football that matters on the TV.
“Of course, we all want the fans in the stadiums but at least now you can sit back and watch some exciting and important games.
“The players are working really hard and they want to do as well as they can and, for me, as a team we’re trying to implement our ideas.
“I think you can talk about 14 games but we’re just look at the next one.
“As long you go into the next game knowing that you’ve won the previous one, that’s a good place to be in.”