Next Manchester United manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer emerges as rival to Laurent Blanc for interim post

The Norwegian is currently manager of Molde, whose season begins in March

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Tuesday 18 December 2018 15:11
Jose Mourinho sacked as Manchester United manager

Former Manchester United players Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Laurent Blanc have been contacted by the Manchester United hierarchy about taking the job as stand-in manager, as the club seek to appoint someone "familiar with the traditions of the club" to succeed Jose Mourinho.

The Portuguese was sacked on Tuesday morning after the Old Trafford hierarchy felt too many problems with his reign had come to a head, particularly bad relationships with the playing squad and officials.

The United board were also concerned about yet another highly conservative approach at Anfield , with the nature of the 3-1 defeat leading them to end Mourinho's time at the club, and seek to bring in someone who would restore a sense of positivity. While Mauricio Pochettino is the primary long-term target, he is seen as impossible until the summer. United want to bring in someone familiar with the club until then, and Solskjaer and Blanc are currently the main candidates.

The former French manager does have reservations about taking a short-term deal, however, which could leave the way open for Solskjaer. United want to make a decision by Thursday, before re-assessing in the summer.

Michael Carrick will remain in charge until an interim boss is hired, though that might only be a matter of 48 hours.

That unusual strategy was broken to Manchester United legend Gary Neville live on air on Sky Sports and he reacted with surprise as the details unfolded.

"I think it might have made sense to just hire the manager in two days' time," he said.

"It doesn't make sense that to me.

"Michael Carrick knows the football club inside out, he gets the club. We've seen in the past where managers have taken the job until the end of the season and it's theirs to lose.

"Michael is committed to coaching, the players respect him and ​Michael will get all the support from the people inside, the fans will always support the manager of the football club."

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