Clubs, English Premier League, Manchester United, Romelu Lukaku, Story, Transfers

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MANCHESTER, England — Romelu Lukaku has said supporters will only see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s vision for Manchester United next season but has raised doubt about whether he will be part of it.

Solskjaer made a flying start after replacing Jose Mourinho in December by winning 14 of his first 17 games in charge but United are now limping towards the finish line having won just two of their last 10.

It has left Solskjaer’s team on the brink of missing out on a place in the top four but Lukaku said he believes things will be different next season after a summer transfer window and a full preseason with the new manager.

“We will be much better,” the Belgian said following the 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Sunday. “It is not easy changing a manager in the middle of a season. Next year we will be up there.”

Sources have told ESPN FC Solskjaer will overhaul his squad in the summer with question marks over a number of senior players.

Lukaku, who has scored 15 goals this season, has also been linked with a move away from Old Trafford and asked directly whether he could put an end to speculation about a transfer to Serie A, the 25-year-old left the door open.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I am not here to entertain rumours. I am still under contract.”

As well as Lukaku, there are also doubts about whether David De Gea will remain at Old Trafford next season while his contract stand-off with the club rumbles on — and sources have told ESPN FC United are considering triggering Jan Oblak‘s €120 million buy-out clause.

De Gea made another high-profile mistake during the draw with Chelsea — his fifth in as many games — but Lukaku has backed his teammate to rediscover the form that made him United’s player of the year in four of the past five seasons.

“He is a really positive person,” Lukaku said. “He has the been the best player at the club since what? Seven or eight years consistently.

“I don’t think we should discredit him like that and suddenly say he is a bad goalkeeper. He has saved us so many times this. season. It happens to strikers, it happens to midfielders and now it is happening to him. He has to learn from it. Goalkeepers always have a spell when it might be difficult.

“We are here to support him. He is strong. Mentally he is really, really strong or else he wouldn’t have been the best player at the club for seven or eight years. There is no doubting his ability.

“He had a bad time at the start of his United career as I remember and he was just a kid then but came through it. He did what he had to do then, turned it round, won trophies and became the best player at the club and he is a leader in the dressing room.

“Now it is up to us as a team to help him and trust his abilities.”

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