Ole Gunnar Solskjaer likes to be sure of himself in press conferences, but on this occasion it was impossible for him to sound certain.

The Manchester United manager was thrown a series of half-volleys which, given the circumstances and his team's scintillating form, were easy enough for him to knock back. Then came a googly of Shane Warne proportions. Not even Solskjaer's mentor Sir Alex Ferguson would have had a coherent answer.

How do United plan for next season?

Given the delayed transfer window and the uncertainty surrounding when the 2020/21 campaign will actually begin, especially for those in European competitions, this is an issue that all clubs are tacking. Not just United and Solskjaer.

"There’s quite a lot of planning going on," began the Norwegian. "When do we start the league? That is probably determined by how far we go in Europe.

“So you can’t really decide on the training programme, there are so many small decisions and of course, transfers sometimes are out of our hands as well. If the team is going well, what do we need? What don’t we need? Do we get injuries? That’s just the way we’re working in this job and you’ve always got to plan for different scenarios."

United's 17-match unbeaten run, not to mention the current unprecedented situation after the coronavirus pandemic, have given the club reasons to be extra careful when approaching transfers.

It is well documented that the club have an interest in Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho but, as is always the case with United, they have to have fall-back options. Names have ranged from the credible (Jack Grealish) to the fanciful (Fiorentina winger Federico Chiesa) and the unforeseeable (Ben Chilwell). Beyond Sancho, it is difficult to see United making many pricey moves in the market.

Solskjaer indicated that. "I don’t think the club would either panic or suddenly go crazy with plans that we’ve already talked about for years to come."

He did admit that Champions League football would make a huge difference, both because it gives United's coffers a boost and because of the allure for players considering a move to a club in Europe's premier competition. Sancho would have to at least think twice if United ended up in the Europa League again.

But that is becoming increasingly unlikely with every victory that this in-form United side chalk off. They ought to beat Southampton and Crystal Palace in the coming days and, if Leicester drop points, fourth place will be in touching distance. Fifth may well be enough if the Court of Arbitration for Sport uphold Manchester City's UEFA ban on Monday.

With United now boasting a very settled side with strength in depth across the board, they are in a much stronger position than previous summers. That will be reinforced if Champions League football is forthcoming.

As Solskjaer says, it will be a case of 'what we don't need', as well as 'what we need'. Paul Pogba, for example, will probably not leave this year and therefore a replacement is unnecessary. A right-winger, an extra body in midfield, maybe a back-up defender, but otherwise United should press on with streamlined transfer plans.

The pandemic has ensured there are no easy questions for football clubs on transfers right now but United have put themselves in a strong position.