'Expired' Molde deal to ease way for Solskjaer

LONDON • Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that his contract at Norwegian club Molde may have expired, paving the way for him to take charge permanently at Old Trafford at the end of the season.

He was loaned to the English Premier League club by Molde after Jose Mourinho was sacked in December.

The former United striker has guided the team to an impressive run of form, with the Red Devils still undefeated in domestic competition under his charge.

He had said previously that Molde's owners would support him if he decides to stay at United.

"I'm not sure how it works. I think the contract has expired and that now I only have a contract with Manchester United," Solskjaer, 46, said on Norway's Fotballklubben podcast. "There may have to be another contract (for me to return to Molde)."

The British media reported on Tuesday that Molde had taken down a statement on their website saying he had signed a new three-year deal with them before his switch to United.

However, Molde chief executive Oystein Neerland said yesterday that he expects Solskjaer to return to the club after his stint with United.

"Before Christmas we signed a new agreement with Ole Gunnar for three years, until the end of the 2021 season," Sky Sports quoted him as telling broadcaster TV2 Norway. "He is now employed at United, and plans to return to Molde after the season."

Solskjaer is reportedly the front runner to be appointed United manager on a full-time basis, ahead of Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Spain international Ander Herrera became the latest player to back the Norwegian.

"If I was sporting director of a club, I'd sign Ole," he told FourFourTwo magazine ahead of yesterday's Champions League last-16 second leg at Paris Saint-Germain.

"Ole has a quality that's difficult to have in football, which is to have the affection of all the players."

Solskjaer also said last Friday that he has featured in a promotional video for United supporters to buy season tickets for the 2019-20 season - another indication that the role as Mourinho's permanent successor could be his. "It's not strange doing it (the video), it will be stranger to see yourself in the video if you're not here," he said.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 07, 2019, with the headline 'Expired' Molde deal to ease way for Solskjaer. Subscribe