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Manchester United announce Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as interim manager to replace Jose Mourinho

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been appointed Manchester United’s interim manager, returning to Old Trafford ‘on loan’ from Norwegian club Molde until the end of the season. 

The Old Trafford legend replaces Jose Mourinho after the Portuguese boss was sacked on Tuesday morning.  

The 45-year-old said that he will return to Molde, whose league campaign begins at the end of March, when his duties at United are complete. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been named as interim manager of Manchester United

Solskjaer said on Molde’s website: ‘In football you never know what can happen. We get proof of time after time. 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. We have built stone for stone and the end of the season this year gives us hope for another good season. 

‘Erling, Trond and Per Magne will do a lot of work while I’m gone. At the same time, I would like to thank the club, and Kjell Inge and Bjorn Rune once again congratulate me on [joining] the world’s biggest club.’

He will be joined by Mike Phelan as first-team coach, also working alongside Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna. 

Phelan has been working as sporting director at Australian club Central Coast Mariners, who are presently bottom of the A-League. 

Solskjaer and Phelan are due to arrive at United’s Carrington training complex on Wednesday afternoon to meet the squad and staff for the first time. 

His first press conference will take place on Friday and his opening match in charge will be on Saturday against Cardiff, whom he had an unsuccessful spell in charge of between January and September in 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,’ said Solskjaer in United’s club statement.

His first games in charge of United 

Premier League unless stated

Saturday Cardiff City (A)

Boxing Day Huddersfield Town (H)

December 30 Bournemouth (H)

January 2 Newcastle United (A)

January 5 Reading (H)

FA Cup third round

January 13 Tottenham (A) 

United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward added in the club’s announcement: ‘Ole is a club legend with huge experience, both on the pitch and in coaching roles. 

‘Erling, Trond and Per Magne will do a lot of work while I’m gone. At the same time, I would like to thank the club, and Kjell Inge and Bjorn Rune once again congratulate me on [joining] the world’s biggest club.’

He will be joined by Mike Phelan as first-team coach, also working alongside Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna. 

Phelan has been working as sporting director at Australian club Central Coast Mariners, who are presently bottom of the A-League. 

Solskjaer and Phelan are due to arrive at United’s Carrington training complex on Wednesday afternoon to meet the squad and staff for the first time. 

His first press conference will take place on Friday and his opening match in charge will be on Saturday against Cardiff, whom he had an unsuccessful spell in charge of between January and September in 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,’ said Solskjaer in United’s club statement.

After their visit to Cardiff this Saturday, United have winnable fixtures against Huddersfield Town, Bournemouth and Newcastle United over the festive period. 

Solskjaer’s former United team-mate David Beckham was one of the first to congratulate him on his appointment.

Beckham posted a picture of Solskjaer in a United shirt on his Instagram stories with the message ‘Good Luck Ole’. 

Solskjaer was also congratulated on his appointment at United by the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg. 

She wrote: ‘FINALLY CONFIRMED! Great day for Norwegian football. Good luck keeping control of the Red Devils, @olegs26_ole.’ 

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