Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been officially announced as Manchester United’s caretaker manager until the end of the season.
Solskjaer, 45, has been appointed with immediate effect, less than 24 hours since the sacking of Jose Mourinho on Tuesday, and his first game in charge will be away to his former club Cardiff on Saturday evening.
He has been managing Norwegian side Molde and has a contract with the club until 2021 but has been allowed to temporarily take over at Old Trafford until May 2019.
Molde said they have agreed to “lend” Solskjaer to United for that period.
“Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role,” said Solskjaer, who scored the winning goal in their Champions League final victory in 1999.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club.”
Sky Sports News understands Solskaer is due to arrive at Carrington on Thursday to take training for the first time.
Mike Phelan, former assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson, joins as first-team coach alongside Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna.
Solskjaer will run the first-team while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new full-time manager.
Molde’s season has already finished for the winter and does not restart until March.
“That Manchester United ask Molde FK to lend the manager is by itself an event, and not least a statement of trust for both Ole Gunnar and Molde FK,” said Molde chief executive Oystein Neerland.
“We are positive to lend Ole Gunnar, we wish both him and the club a success.”
Solskjaer thanked Molde for allowing him the unusual step away to take charge at United.
“In football you never know what can happen,” he told Molde’s website. “We get proof of time after time.
“This is an opportunity I had to take. I am looking forward to leading Manchester United until the summer. At the same time, I will follow closely what is happening here at home.”
Sky Sports News understands United are interested in hiring a technical director for the first time in their history, with the new man expected to be in place before they appoint a permanent successor to Mourinho in the summer.
“Ole is a club legend with huge experience, both on the pitch and in coaching roles,” said executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
“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 fans as we head into the second half of the season.”
Solskjaer’s appointment was expected after the club accidentally broke the news on their website on Tuesday through a video titled ‘The Most Famous Night of Ole’s Career’.
The video was captioned: “Solskjaer becomes our interim manager, 20 seasons after clinching the Treble with THAT goal at Camp Nou…”
Solskjaer scored 126 goals in 366 appearances for United between 1996 and 2007 and went on to become coach of the second string after retiring.
His 14-and-a-half year association with the club ended when he took over at Molde for the first time at the start of 2011.
He then returned to Molde after an ill-fated time at the helm of Cardiff, who he saw relegated from the Premier League in 2014.
As for Phelan, he was keen to stress that, like Solskjaer, his return to Old Trafford will be only temporary.
Phelan is the sporting director with Australian A-League side Central Coast Mariners but has been allowed to assist Solskjaer.
“Taking on a temporary coaching role at Manchester United is extremely exciting,” said Phelan.
“It’s also a really positive step for the Mariners to have a direct link with Manchester United as I will continue my role as sporting director.
“I’m still a Mariner, I’ve put something in place that I want to see through. This might be a small distraction, but it’s with one of the biggest clubs in the world that I simply couldn’t turn down.” – Sky Sports