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Manchester United announce playing hero Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager

Manchester United announce playing hero Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager
Premier League club Manchester United have named former striker Ole Gunnar Solskjær as caretaker manager until the end of the 2018/19 season following Tuesday's sacking of beseiged former boss Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho was sacked after a poor start to the season culminiated in a 3-1 away loss to rivals Liveprool at Anfield on Sunday, which proved to be the final straw for the under fire Portuguese coach, who departed amid rumors he had lost favor with the dressing room and among the board.

Norwegian Solskjær, who scored 126 goals in 366 appearances for United between 1996 and 2007, achieved legendary status among the Old Trafford faithful by netting the winning goal in the 1999 UEFA Champions League final, clinching an unprecedented treble for The Reds, who also won the Premier League and FA Cup that season.

"Manchester United announced today that former striker Ole Gunnar Solskjær has been appointed as caretaker manager until the end of the 2018/19 season," the club said in a statement on Wednesday. 

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"Solskjær will take charge of the first team with immediate effect and will remain in place while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new full-time manager. He will be joined by Mike Phelan as first-team coach, working alongside Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna."

Solskjær will be a popular appointment among fans, ahead of a permanent replacement being appointed in the summer. His deal will last until May 2018.

The 45-year-old, nicknamed 'The Baby-faced Assassin' during his playing days owing to his youthful looks and deadly finishing, took the reins of Man United's reserve team in 2008 and has since twice won the Norwegian Eliteserien with FC Molde in his native country. His only experience in English football however came at Cardiff, with whom he was relegated from the Premier League.

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“Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role. I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club,” Solskjær said of the appointment.

Solskjaer is currently manager at Molde FK, where he won the club's first ever Norwegian league titles in his first two seasons at the club in 2011 and 2011. The club stated it had come to an agreement with United by which to "lend" their current boss to the Old Trafford outfit.

"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. We are positive to lend Ole Gunnar, we wish both him and the club a success,"Molde CEO Øystein Neerland said in a club statement.

Man United Executive Vice Chairman, Ed Woodward, who is overseeing his fifth managerial apppointment in his six years at the club, said: “Ole is a club legend with huge experience, both on the pitch and in coaching roles.

"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 the fans as we head into the second half of the season.”