Man United confirm Ole Gunnar Solskjær as permanent manager
Norweigan handed a three-year contract after record-breaking spell as caretaker
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been appointed Manchester United’s full-time manager on a three-year contract, the club have announced. Photo: John Walton/PA Wire
Ole Gunnar Solskjær has been confirmed as the permanent manager of Manchester United on a three-year contract after a successful period in interim charge.
Solskjær was due to continue in a caretaker capacity until the end of the season but has revived the team so impressively since taking over from José Mourinho in December that his appointment on a longer-term basis has been announced by the club.
Assistant Mike Phelan has also been key to United’s resurgence and is expected to stay. According to reports he has spent much of the international break in Australia, where Alex Ferguson’s former right-hand man works as sporting director of A-League side Central Coast Mariners.
“From the first day I arrived, I felt at home at this special club,” Solskjær said. “It was an honour to be a Manchester United player, and then to start my coaching career here. The last few months have been a fantastic experience and I want to thank all of the coaches, players and staff for the work we’ve done so far. This is the job that I always dreamed of doing and I’m beyond excited to have the chance to lead the club long-term and hopefully deliver the continued success that our amazing fans deserve.”
The Norwegian has taken United into the last eight of the Champions League by beating Paris Saint-Germain and has put the side in strong contention for a top-four finish. He went 12 matches unbeaten in the Premier League before a defeat at Arsenal in early March.
That was followed by United’s exit from the FA Cup at Wolves before the international break but United have confirmed they regard Solskjær as the best long-term option. Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino had been regarded as a strong candidate for the job.
Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman, said: “Since coming in as caretaker manager in December, the results Ole has delivered speak for themselves. More than just performances and results, Ole brings a wealth of experience, both as a player and as a coach, coupled with a desire to give young players their chance and a deep understanding of the culture of the club. This all means that he is the right person to take Manchester United forward.”
United sources say there will be a “gesture of goodwill” to the Norwegian club Molde, to where Solskjær had been due to return as manager in the summer. Molde later posted a message on their Twitter account, which read: “Molde Football Club thanks Ole Gunnar Solskjær for the efforts he has made with MFK, and wishes him the best of luck!”
Marcus Rashford posted an image of himself and Solskjær on Instagram with the caption: “Congrats boss”.
The former United defender Gary Neville welcomed Solskjær’s appointment and urged the club to back him financially. “I’m delighted for Ole,” Neville tweeted. “I didn’t think this would happen when he was appointed. However, the results and spirit in the club have been incredible since he arrived and he deserves it. He now needs support in the transfer market in terms of finance and the right resource!”
The former United defender Rio Ferdinand wrote on Twitter: “Yessss Ole is officially at The Wheel... Signed, Sealed, Delivered! Manager of ManUtd! I hope my Thank You is in post Ole”. – Guardian