New Man United manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed as interim coach until the end of the season
- Former striker returns to club where he played for 11 seasons and also coached the reserve side
- Faces former side Cardiff City in first English Premier League game
Manchester United have confirmed that former player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been named as the interim manager following the departure of Jose Mourinho.
The club announced it in an official statement on Wednesday morning UK time.
He will take charge of the first team with “immediate effect” while the club conducts the recruitment process for a new permanent manager.
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 2, 2014
“Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role. I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club,” the new manager said in the statement.
Ed Woodward, executive vice chairman, added that “Ole is a club legend with huge experience, both on the pitch and in coaching roles.
“His history at Manchester United means he lives and breathes the culture here and everyone at the club is delighted to have him and Mike Phelan back.
“We are confident they will unite the players and the fans as we head into the second half of the season.”
Phelan, who was assistant manager to Alex Ferguson, has returned to the club and will join former player Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna as part of Solksjaer’s backroom staff.
Carrick and McKenna had taken training in the absence of a first team manager.
We can confirm that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been appointed as caretaker manager until the end of the 2018/19 season.
He will be joined by Mike Phelan as first-team coach, together with Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna. #MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) 19 December 2018
It was widely expected that the 45-year-old would come in as interim manager after the news was leaked on a video caption on the official Manchester United website.
The caption accompanied a video of Solskjaer scoring the winning goal in the 1999 Uefa Champions League final in Barcelona.
It read: “Solskjaer becomes our interim manager, 20 years seasons after clinching the Treble with THAT goal at Camp Nou.”
Norway’s prime minister also congratulated the former striker before deleting the tweet. Erna Solberg had called it a “Great day for Norwegian football” and wished him luck.
The odds have since shortened on Solskjaer becoming the next permanent manager when the club makes their appointment next summer.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær's managerial record at Cardiff City:
Win rate: 30% pic.twitter.com/vZIzvyynhs
— Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) December 18, 2018
In the meantime, Solksjaer will face former club Cardiff City in his first game on Saturday.
Solskjaer had made no secret of his desire to return to Old Trafford as manager one day. He has been in the away dugout while in charge of Cardiff City.
The 45-year-old told the Scandinavian branch of the Manchester United supporters club that it was his “dream” in an interview last year.
Solskjaer spent 11 years at Old Trafford and scored 126 goals in 366 appearances for Alex Ferguson’s side.
Once he retired from playing in 2007 he took charge of the Manchester United reserve team before moving on to Molde, Cardiff City and back to Molde, where he was due to start next season in March.