Saturday 14 December 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer jets in on Randy Lerner's private plane for Aston Villa talks

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Photo: Getty Images
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Photo: Getty Images

OLE Gunnar Solskjaer is in talks with Aston Villa over replacing Alex McLeish as manager.

Former Manchester United striker Solskjaer, who led Molde to an historic double in his first full campaign in charge, has flown into Birmingham to meet with Villa owner Randy Lerner regarding the vacancy.

Lerner is so keen to speak to the Norwegian that he arranged for his own private plane to transport him from Solskjaer's home town of Kristiansund.

"Molde Football Club is aware of interest and contact from Aston Villa, and is aware that Aston Villa and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are talking together," the club confirmed in a statement this morning.

Solskjaer has spoken of his desire to manage in the Premier League, ideally with Manchester United after leaving his position as the club's reserve manager to take up his role at Molde.

Solskjaer's odds on taking up the post vacated by McLeish on Monday were slashed yesterday down to 6-4 from 25-1, with the Norwegian odds-on favourite today.

Solskjaer is seen as the young, progressive manager required by Lerner after first failing with Gerard Houllier and then McLeish in the wake of Martin O'Neill's departure in August 2010.

After quitting playing in 2008, Solskjaer took charge of United's reserve team for two and a half years before guiding Molde to their first Norwegian league title in 100 years last October at the end of his debut campaign in charge.

Solskjaer, however, is just one year into a four-year contract, and can look forward to Champions League football next season.

Another consideration for the man who earned the nickname of 'the baby-faced assassin' during his United days is his family of wife Silje and three children and whether to uproot them given they have only just settled in Norway.

However, the lure of Premier League football and going head to head with old mentor in Sir Alex Ferguson, as well as reviving Villa's hopes following a woeful season, is likely to prove irresistible.

McLeish presided over a season in which Villa managed a club record low of four home wins, accumulating a points tally of 38 which was their lowest for 42 years and an eventual 16th-place finish which was their worst in six seasons.

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