Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be given a new three-year contract at Manchester United despite their defeat in the Europa League final, according to reports.
Solskjaer was hoping for a first piece of silverware as United boss on Wednesday. However, they lost the Europa League final to Villarreal after a dramatic penalty shootout that went all the way to the goalkeepers. David De Gea missed his effort, extending United’s wait to get back to lifting trophies.
Some questions have been asked of Solskjaer following their failure to overcome the La Liga side. But it seems United are going to keep their faith in their former striker.
According to the Telegraph, United will offer Solskjaer a new three-year contract in the summer. His current deal is due to expire at the end of next season.
Negotiations will be overseen by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, despite his own impending exit. Woodward will leave the club at the end of the calendar year, but will still have major influence until then – including on transfers.
United will stick with Solskjaer and back him as they look to take the final few steps they need to get back where they belong.
Some believe they would need a better manager than Solskjaer to do so. But Woodward remains a supporter of the 48-year-old and will put measures in place to keep him in the role long after his own departure.
In terms of signings, it is claimed that United will pursue a striker, central midfielder and defender. Their main target, though, remains Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho.
United tried and failed to sign the England international last summer, falling short of the asking price. Those demands have now changed and there could be a better chance of the deal going through.
The Red Devils are aware they need to make changes to their squad that can guarantee them the leap in quality they need to end what will become a five-year trophy drought.
Solskjaer will still be the man they hope can oversee that, despite some dissatisfaction resurfacing among a portion of fans.
Ultimately, it remains Woodward who will make the big decision. And it appears that decision will be to keep Solskjaer at the helm.
Solskjaer snaps at success question
Solskjaer delivered an emphatic and immediate response when asked if this was a successful season following the Europa League defeat, and defended his players over a common criticism.
“No,” snapped Solskjaer almost before the reporter could finish his question. “We need to get better, simple as.
“We’ve done really well this season coming through. The start was difficult. We had no pre-season and lost three of the first six.
“We pushed in the league, maybe got closer to the top than we thought and we got to a final. But you need to win the finals to make it a good season.”
When asked if the Man Utd dressing room contains the right type of characters to consistently lift major honours, something many pundits have called into question, Solskjaer said: “Yeah.
“We missed two big ones today with Fred and Harry [Maguire]. We have a strong, competitive squad.
“The spirit in the squad is good. They’re gutted in there. Now is not the time to analyse the whole season.”