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28th Feb 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is “the only serious candidate” to be named Manchester United manager

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is "the only serious candidate" to land the Manchester United manager's job permanently according to reports in ESPN

Robert Redmond

It is looking increasingly likely that he will be named the permanent manager

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s spell as Manchester United caretaker manager has gone better than almost anyone could have imagined.

Since Jose Mourinho was sacked in December, United have played 15-games under Solskjaer, winning 12, drawing two and only tasting defeat in the Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain.

After Mourinho’s final game – a 3-1 loss away to Liverpool – United were in sixth place with 26-points, eight points from the top four.

With 10 games to go, United are in fifth-place, just a point behind Arsenal in fourth spot.

Under Mourinho, the team looked lost and could barely string three passes together at times. The same squad are now playing exciting, attacking football under Solskjaer.

The club has been transformed by the Norwegian, who is still the Molde manager effectively on-loan at Old Trafford until the end of the season.

However, it is looking increasingly likely that he will be named the permanent manager. Solskjaer is “the only serious candidate” for the position, according to Mark Ogden of ESPN.

United were reportedly determined to appoint an experienced, high-profile coach to succeed Mourinho. Tottenham Hotspur coach Mauricio Pochettino and Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri were understood to be at the top of the club’s shortlist.

However, neither coach has been approached about potentially taking the role. ESPN report that Solskjaer has “moved ahead” of both men in the running to be United’s next permanent manager.

He has impressed the United hierarchy with his approach to the job and the results on the pitch.

The former United striker has helped lift the gloom around the club following the dour final months of Mourinho’s reign and the players have responded well to his coaching.

United reportedly still don’t plan to appoint a new permanent manager until the end of the season. Unless there is a dramatic decline in United’s form, it appears Solskjaer will be given the job on a permanent basis.