In Brief

Man Utd appoint Solskjaer as caretaker manager - how fans and Twitter reacted

Norwegian takes over at Old Trafford until the end of the season

Manchester United have today confirmed that former striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been appointed as caretaker manager until the end of the season.

Following Jose Mourinho’s sacking yesterday the Old Trafford club announced they were searching for a new temporary boss to finish the campaign.

Solskjaer takes charge with immediate effect and will be joined by Mike Phelan as first-team coach. Solskjaer and Phelan, who was formerly Alex Ferguson’s assistant, will work alongside current United coaches Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna.

The 45-year-old returns to Old Trafford with United sixth in the Premier League and his first match will be Saturday’s trip to Cardiff City, where he was formerly manager in 2014.

United also confirmed that while Solskjaer takes temporary charge of the first-team the club’s board will conduct a “thorough recruitment process for a new full-time manager”. Candidates for the full-time position include Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino and former Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.

‘A club legend’

Solskjaer played 366 games for United between 1996 and 2007 and scored 126 goals. His most memorable moment for the Red Devils was scoring the winner in the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

“Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role,” said Solskjaer. “I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club.”

United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward added: “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.”

Solskjaer ‘lent’ to United by Molde

Solskjaer joins United from Norwegian club Molde FK. According to the Manchester Evening News Molde insist they have “lent” their boss to United until the summer and have appointed Erling Moe as first-team coach in Solskjaer’s absence.

Solskjaer recently signed a new three-year contract at Molde and he said on their official website: “In football you never know what can happen. This is an opportunity I had to take. I am looking forward to leading Manchester United until the summer.

“At the same time, I will follow closely what is happening here at home.”

Molde chief executive Øystein Neerland added: “That Manchester United asked Molde FK to lend the manager is by itself an event, and not least a statement of trust for both Ole Gunnar and Molde FK. We are happy to lend Ole Gunnar, we wish both him and the club a success.”

The Daily Mirror reports United have paid Molde £1.8m for the “loan” deal.

Reactions to Solskjaer’s appointment

What ex-United players had to say

Jaap Stam, former teammate of Solskjaer’s at Manchester United: “It’s good for him. He’s a legend at United. I was quite surprised they were signing Ole, I didn’t know they were going to sign someone until the end of the season. I’m free as well, it would have been nice. I’m sure I could have done something over there as well - it’s always a matter of who you’re going to pick but hopefully they don’t forget about me!

“He wants to play attacking football, as a personality he can work with young players, give them a certain feeling, which is what they need. He’s got a football brain, he knows tactically what to do. Sometimes they need to be released from something that brings out that feeling of freedom. I think Ole is that type of manager.”

What the fans say

Manchester United Supporters’ Trust: “United need a lift and our ultimate super-sub, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, is just the man for the job. He’s been a long-term backer of fans and a patron of MUST, so we know he understands our support and what we are looking for from a manager.

“Whilst Ole is at the helm, the club needs to make the big structural changes to equip us to compete in modern football. The Club must put football expertise in charge of football decisions, especially in respect of selection of the next manager and player transfers.

“Manchester United fans have shown phenomenal support to the team through the recent difficult period. We know all fans will continue to back the team and we expect to see the players giving their all for the Club and the supporters. We know Ole will.”

How Twitter reacted to the news


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