The Red Devils have moved quickly to appoint their former player, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as Jose Mourinho’s replacement as they attempt to salvage a disappointing season
opted to dismiss Mourinho on Tuesday, ending his two and a half year spell at Old Trafford after a dismal start to the 2018/19 campaign.
Their latest 3-1 defeat to Liverpool saw the Manchester club drop 19 points behind the Premier League leaders and 11 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, putting their qualification hopes for next year’s edition of the UEFA Champions League under serious threat.
Solskjaer spent 11 seasons at Old Trafford, scoring the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final.
The 45-year-old takes over with United sixth in the Premier League.
“Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role,” said the Norwegian.
“This is an opportunity I had to take.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club.”
Solskjaer, who earlier this month signed a new deal as manager of Norwegian club Molde, will be joined by Mike Phelan, who returns as first-team coach having previously worked alongside Sir Alex Ferguson.
Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna, both part of Mourinho’s coaching staff, will continue to work under Solskjaer.
Solskjaer’s first match in charge will be against Cardiff – where he endured an ill-fated spell as manager – on Saturday.
He was relegated from the Premier League with the Bluebirds during an eight-month spell as manager in 2014, then sacked after a poor start to the Championship campaign.
United will look to appoint a permanent boss at the end of the season.
“Ole is a club legend with huge experience, both on the pitch and in coaching roles,” said Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman.
“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.”
United confirmed the return of Solskjaer, who started his coaching career as the reserve team manager at Old Trafford, on Wednesday morning.
The club appeared to inadvertently announce his arrival 12 hours earlier, when a video featuring Solskjaer scoring the winner in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in 1999 was briefly displayed on their official website.