Thursday 25 April 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirms contract at Molde 'terminated' as he closes in on Manchester United job

Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates after the final whistle
Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates after the final whistle

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed his contract with Norwegian side Molde has been "terminated" as he closes in on securing a permanent job with Manchester United.

Solskjaer, who worked his magic yet again in beating Paris St Germain on Wednesday night as United marched into the Champions League quarter-finals, will be rubber-stamped for the job at the end of the season.

Solskjaer remained tight-lipped about his United future after Wednesday's jaw-dropping triumph in Paris only heightened talk of when rather than if he got the managerial post on a permanent basis.

The caretaker boss fuelled it himself by admitting to a Norwegian podcast that his contract with Molde, the club he was supposed to return to in the summer, had been terminated.

"That's just the media," he said of the speculation. "I am not here to get excited, I am here to do my job.

"And of course that contract issue there, you cannot have two contracts when you're a manager, so that contract was terminated.

"I am contracted to Man United until the end of June."

Solskjaer has been looking ahead to summer signings and pre-season plans, but his main focus now is Sunday's trip to Arsenal.

Still unbeaten domestically, United head to the Emirates Stadium - a ground where they beat the Gunners 3-1 in the FA Cup in January - with their absentee list easing.

Paul Pogba is available after serving a European suspension in Paris, Anthony Martial has recovered from a groin injury, while Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic are pushing for a return.

"Eric (Bailly) is fine," Solskjaer said of a defender he substituted after 36 minutes in Paris.

"Anthony will be available and hopefully we'll have Nemanja and/or Ander ready as well.

"We're looking better for it. They just need to have another couple of days training with the team. They've done well with their recovery work."

Those involved in Paris are also fine after re-focusing on domestic matters following the high of the Champions League triumph when Marcus Rashford's stoppage-time penalty sealed progress to the quarter-finals.

Solskjaer would love the 21-year-old to become one of the club's "quality legends" but staying in the team is key for now, as is showing the clinical finishing displayed by the likes of Lukaku and Cristiano Ronaldo.

"I keep battering him with it, that he should also score as many goals as Rom after the training session has finished," the former striker said.

"He should always get those simple tap-ins, finishes from close range, like Rom scored in the last few games.

"Rashy's goals are sometimes worldies, and he does have a sensational strike of the ball but you see the improvement and maturity and change in Cristiano's goals from when he was young to now.

"He scores more from inside the box, and that's what Rashy has to do - improve his tap-ins, movement in the box, staying in the box, getting away from the centre-backs a few more times.

"You can get those extra five or 10 goals from staying in the box, and he's been told that."

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