'Exciting time' spurs Ole to new deal

LONDON • Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has signed a new deal to stay at Old Trafford up till at least 2024, with an option for an extra year, the English Premier League club announced yesterday.

The Norwegian, 48, led United to second in the league last season, while they also reached the Europa League final - only to lose to Spanish La Liga side Villarreal on penalties.

"Everyone knows the feeling I have for this club, and I am delighted to have signed this new contract," said Solskjaer, who made more than 200 appearances for United as a forward.

"It is an exciting time for Manchester United, we have built a squad with a good balance of youth and experienced players that are hungry for success.

"Ever since day one when I came in, even as a player, I've felt the backing from this club. Now of course after I signed the deal to be the manager the first time around, we sat down and had a plan and there hasn't been one moment where I've felt I've had to look over my shoulder.

"We have a plan, we stick to it, we know there will be bumps in the road, but now here we are and we want to step forward."

Solskjaer returned to United as caretaker manager in December 2018 from Molde, replacing the sacked Jose Mourinho for the rest of the season.

In March 2019, United appointed him on a permanent basis on a three-year contract after he guided them to 14 wins in 19 matches in all competitions as interim boss, with the club ending in sixth place.

The Red Devils finished third in the league in Solskjaer's first full season in charge in 2019-20 and also reached the semi-finals of the League Cup, FA Cup and Europa League.

In May, they lost the Europa League final 11-10 on penalties following a 1-1 draw against Villarreal, leaving United without a trophy since 2017.

The news of Solskjaer's contract renewal came just a day after the club officially announced the signing of forward Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund for £73 million (S$136.8 million).

United are also heavily linked to Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane, who is reported to be seeking a new challenge in the Premier League, and a central midfielder.

West Ham's Declan Rice and Rennes' Eduardo Camavinga are also names in the mix.

United will host Leeds United in their 2021-22 Premier League opener on Aug 14.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 25, 2021, with the headline ''Exciting time' spurs Ole to new deal'. Subscribe