Less than 24 hours after Jose Mourinho’s topsy-turvy reign came to an abrupt end, the club confirmed yesterday morning that they had brought in their former striker and reserve team boss from Molde.
Solskjaer, whose Champions League final winner sealed the treble in 1999, will take the reins at United until the end of the season as the club undergoes a restructuring process and searches for a new full-time manager.
The intention is for the fans’ favourite to return to Molde in May, with the Norwegian club’s chief executive Oystein Neerland saying they are happy to “lend” their manager to United.
It is an unusual arrangement but one that appears to suit all parties, leaving Solskjaer thrilled to return to a club he called home for 14-and-a-half years as a player and then coach.
“Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role,” he said.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club.”
Sir Alex Ferguson’s former right-hand man Mike Phelan, who managed Hull in the Premier League two years ago, joins Solskjaer as first-team coach.
The pair link up at United with Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna, who took training on Wednesday ahead of the caretaker manager’s first full day in the hotseat.
Solskjaer is expected to speak to the media for the first time tomorrow, with a frantic few days peaking on Saturday evening at Cardiff as his first match pits him against the only other Premier League club he has coached.
Things did not go to plan in the Welsh capital, having overseen relegation from the top flight in 2014 and a poor start to life in the Championship. Solskjaer left claiming a “difference in philosophy” with owner Vincent Tan after just eight-and-a-half months.
The Norwegian has fared better either side of that as manager of Molde and United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward believes he was the right appointment at a difficult time.
“Ole is a club legend with huge experience,” Woodward said. “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.”