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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer held transfer talks with Christian Eriksen

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke with Christian Eriksen before Manchester United ended their fleeting pursuit of the Tottenham playmaker.

The MEN can reveal Solskjaer personally spoke with Eriksen to gauge his interest in joining United last week and, despite the Dane's admiration for United, Solskjaer received confirmation Eriksen's preference was to move to Spain.

Spurs encouraged United to bid for Eriksen in the final days of the Premier League transfer window since the 27-year-old has entered the last year of his contract and stressed his desire to leave.

United scouted Eriksen while he was at Ajax and the Denmark international was keen to join the club in 2012.

United were also uneasy about the prospect of recruiting Eriksen due to the vested interest of Real Madrid.

United sources suggested Madrid were lobbying Spurs to entertain a bid from United for Eriksen to plunge Paul Pogba's future into more uncertainty.

Real coach Zinedine Zidane wants to sign Pogba rather than Eriksen, whom Madrid unsuccessfully bid for last year when Julen Lopetegui was coach, and the Bernabeu club had a risible £27.4m plus James Rodriguez offer for Pogba rejected by United earlier this month.
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