Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named permanent Manchester United boss
Manchester United have named Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager on a permanent basis.
The move has seemed inevitable for many weeks given the transformation United have undergone since Solskjaer arrived on a caretaker basis following the sacking of Jose Mourinho in December.
Solskjaer has won 14 of his 19 games in charge, reviving hopes of a top-four finish and unexpectedly guiding United to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
They won a thrilling last-16 tie at PSG to set up a two-legged clash with Barcelona next month.
Solskjaer has been handed a three-year deal at Old Trafford.
The ex-striker, who scored 126 goals in 366 appearances for United, was already a hero to fans as the man who scored the stoppage-time winner in the 1999 Champions League final to complete the treble.
And it is some of the those late-game heroics that Solskjaer has restored to United’s play, most notably with Marcus Rashford’s last-minute penalty securing their Champions League win over Paris St Germain at the start of the month.
After Mourinho was sacked following a 3-1 loss to Liverpool on December 16 Solskjaer initially arrived from Molde ‘on loan’ until the end of the season.
The Norwegian club had been adamant he would return to his job there with United poised to look elsewhere for a permanent boss, but Solskjaer’s results were impossible to ignore and former players have been queuing up to call for his appointment.
“From the first day I arrived, I felt at home at this special club,” said Solskjaer.
“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.”
United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward 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. I want to thank Ole and the coaching team for everything they have done so far and congratulate him on this richly-deserved appointment.
“The fans and everyone at the club are behind him as he looks to take us where we need to be and build the next stage of our history.”
United stars past and present were quick to welcome the news.
Rashford posted an image of himself and Solskjaer on Instagram with the caption: “Congrats boss.”
Solskjaer’s former United team-mate Gary Neville wrote on Twitter: “I’m delighted for Ole. 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!”
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand added on his Twitter account: “Yessss Ole is officially at The Wheel... Signed, Sealed, Delivered! Manager of @ManUtd! I hope my Thank You is in post Ole.”