Ole Gunner Solskjær has been appointed as Manchester United’s caretaker manager, replacing José Mourinho until the end of the season.
The former United striker will be assisted by Mike Phelan, another of the club’s former players, who previously spent 14 years on the club’s coaching staff, including five as the No 2.
Solskjær takes over following Mourinho’s sacking on Tuesday. His first game in charge is Saturday’s trip to Cardiff City, the club with which he had his only previous experience of Premier League management.
The Norwegian, who is temporarily stepping down as manager of Molde but will resume that role in May, took Cardiff down to the Championship in May 2014. On being sacked the following September his record was 16 defeats from 30 games and five wins, of which three were in the top flight.
Solskjær is fondly remembered at Old Trafford for scoring the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich. Just over a year ago he described United as a “dream” job in an interview with United.no, the Manchester United Supporters’ Club Scandinavia.
“Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role,” Solskjær told United website after being confirmed in the role. “I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club.”
He added in an interview with Norwegian television: “In football you never know what can happen. We get proof of that time after time. This is an opportunity I had to take. I am looking forward to leading Manchester United until the summer. At the same time, I will follow closely what is happening here at home.”
United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, 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.”
The coaches Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna continue on the first-team staff.
Molde have appointed Erling Moe as their caretaker manager to cover for Solskjær. The Norwegian season has ended but resumes on 31 March, meaning Solskjær will miss Molde’s pre-season preparations and several weeks of the new campaign.
Their chief executive officer, Oystein Neerland, said: “We are happy to lend Ole Gunnar, we wish both him and the club success.”