Manchester United plan to announce Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their permanent manager before the club next plays in the Premier League, according to a report on Tuesday.
The Norwegian has rejuvenated the club since being parachuted in as interim manager in December, with Arsenal becoming the first side to beat United under Solskjaer in the Premier League on Sunday.
That result ended a run of 14 wins from 16 games under Solskjaer, a run of form that has lifted the club into the FA Cup quarter-finals, the Champions League quarter-finals and firmly back in the running for a top-four finish.
Although Gary Neville has warned Solskjaer he still has plenty to do before United can consider this season a success, the Daily Mirror claim Solskjaer is now the only option to take permanent charge at Old Trafford after convincing the United hierarchy he is the right man for the job.
United had initially planned not to announce their new manager before the end of the season, but such has been his success, plans are already afoot to have him permanently in place before United resume Premier League action on March 30 against Watford at Old Trafford; the plan being to announce him as manager during the international break.
As such, United are reported to have contacted Solskjaer’s parent club Molde to inform them they are ready to pay the £8m settlement package that was first placed in Solskjaer’s contract when he returned to Old Trafford at the end of last year.
A report last week claimed Solskjaer has agreed a salary of £7.5million a year with United, approximately half the estimated £15m a year his predecessor Mourinho was being paid.
Solskjaer’s contract is also likely to include bonus clauses related to United’s position in the Premier League table and whether they win any silverware.
The former United striker, who is adored by United’s fans, has revealed he has a close relationship with United chief executive Ed Woodward.
Solskjaer explained to Norwegian podcast Fotballklubben: “Ed Woodward was the one who contacted me about the manager job, it’s his responsibility so I think it would be him.
“We have a good relationship and keep in touch every day. We have a great relationship and we talk almost every day.”
Solskjaer has added the feel-good-factor back to Old Trafford and all the players seem to enjoy his management style.
Luke Shaw said: “We all love Ole and we love the job he’s done so far. I don’t think I need to say much after all these results, it looks certain [Solskjaer will get the job].
“We’re enjoying everything that’s going on at the moment and the results have shown that.
“It sums up what the mood is like in the camp now and that’s a big plus for the boss and what he’s done in this period of time and how much he’s changed things around. We’ve got so much more to look forward to.”
Get the latest personalised Red Devils products on our new TEAMtalk Man Utd shop!