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Manchester United appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as permanent manager

Manchester United appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as permanent manager
Manchester United have appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the club’s permanent manager, handing the Norwegian a three-year deal.

Solskjaer , 46, took over on an interim basis following the departure of Jose Mourinho in December, and has impressed during his three months in charge at Old Trafford.

He has guided the team into the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a thrilling last 16 win against Paris Saint-Germain, while leading them to within two points of the top four in the Premier League.

United announced Solskjaer's permanent appointment in a statement on Thursday. 

Solskjaer took over with confidence low at Old Trafford after talk of discontent between the players and former boss Mourinho, as well as dissatisfaction among fans at the team’s labored playing style.

The Norwegian, already a legend from his playing days at the club, has revitalized the team and injected some much needed positivity into the squad.  

United's form under the Norwegian has been hugely impressive, with the team winning their first eight games under their new boss and recording 14 wins, two draws and three defeats in his 19 games in charge so far. 

He was seen as the favorite to be given the role on a permanent basis after his impressive caretaker tenure and earned widespread public backing from the players, although other potential targets for the job included highly-regarded Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino.     

The United hierarchy have now settled the issue by handing Solskjaer a three-year deal, as attention turns to the Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona in April and the end of the Premier League season, where United will aim to seal a top four spot to book their place in Europe’s top club competition next season.  

Commeting on his permanent appointment, Solskjaer said: “It was an honor to be a Manchester United player, and then to start my coaching career here.

The last few months have been a fantastic experience and I want to thank all of the coaches, players and staff for the work we’ve done so far.

"This is the job that I always dreamed of doing and I’m beyond excited to have the chance to lead the club long-term and hopefully deliver the continued success that our amazing fans deserve.”

United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: “Since coming in as caretaker manager in December, the results Ole has delivered speak for themselves.

"More than just performances and results, Ole brings a wealth of experience, both as a player and as a coach, coupled with a desire to give young players their chance and a deep understanding of the culture of the club.

“This all means that Ole is the right person to take Manchester United forward.”

Already a firm fan favorite from his playing days at the club - including when he scored a late winner in the 1999 Champions League final - Solskjaer has embedded himself even more firmly in supporters' affections as manager. 

Fans serenade their boss with the now ubiquitous "Ole's at the wheel" chant, and his appointment on a permanent basis will be a popular one with the Old Trafford faithful.

Solskjaer's managerial experience to date includes a spell at Cardiff City, and he was at the helm when the team was relegated from the Premier League in 2014. He left Norwegian club Molde to take over at United, and has now been handed the keys to one of the biggest clubs in world football.      

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