Manchester United news: Wayne Rooney brought in by BT Sport as a pundit for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first game

The 33-year-old, who is currently enjoying the MLS offseason, will be a special studio guest against Cardiff City

Thursday 20 December 2018 15:17
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Jose Mourinho sacked as Manchester United manager

Wayne Rooney will form part of BT Sport’s pundit team for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first match as interim manager of Manchester United away against Cardiff City.

Old Trafford legend Solskjaer was appointed by United on Wednesday until the end of the season after Jose Mourinho was sacked earlier this week.

The Norwegian’s first game in charge will be against Cardiff – the club that gave him is only other, ill-fated, Premier League managerial experience in 2014 – on Saturday and Rooney has been brought in to provide analysis on a fellow former United striker.

Rooney, who enjoyed a farewell appearance for England against the United States at Wembley in November, is free from his club commitments with MLS club DC United following their run to the Eastern Conference playoffs last season.

He will reportedly be joined in the BT Sport studio by former Cardiff defender and retired Wales international Danny Gabbidon.

Rooney cemented his place in United’s history by becoming the club’s all-time record goalscorer before leaving to rejoin boyhood club Everton in 2017, and he took to social media to react positively to Solskjaer’s appointment as Mourinho’s successor.

“Just want to wish Ole Gunnar Solskjaer all the best in his new position,” Rooney wrote alongside a picture of him alongside the Norwegian during his United playing days. “Good luck mate!”

Rooney left United to rejoin boyhood club Everton in 2017

Solskjaer also received support from former United goalkeeper and current Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar, who tweeted: “Let’s hope for some more smiles and better results. Good luck Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with your new position.”

Mourinho’s departure did not appear to be an unpopular decision among the United players, with only a handful expressing fondness or gratitude towards their sacked manager on social media.

Rio Ferdinand, now a full-time BT Sport pundit, said: “I was one of his biggest advocates 2 & half years ago when he joined @ManUtd & felt he stabilised our club when we needed it... You can’t ignore what Jose has achieved as a manager previously but I feel the time has come for fresh ideas at #MUFC”

Commenting on United’s announcement of Mourinho’s sacking, former striker Andrew Cole said: “I would personally like to wish Jose all the best in the future... let’s stay United as a club & keep the focus on the pitch until end of the season!”

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