Manchester United sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – and announce who will replace him for ‘forthcoming games’
The manager’s departure comes in the wake of the club’s 4-1 humiliation at newly promoted Watford.
The “difficult decision” was taken “with regret”, the club said, adding that the former striker, who scored the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final, will “always be a legend” at Old Trafford.
Current club coach Michael Carrick will take charge of “forthcoming games” until bosses appoint an “interim manager to the end of the season”.
Those being mentioned as possible successors include current Leicester City manager Brendan Rogers, former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, and present Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino.
Spain boss Luis Enrique would be Cristiano Ronaldo’s choice, Sky Sports News reported. Enrique won the treble with Barcelona in 2015.
In the early stages of the season, things were looking positive for United. They swept Leeds away 5-1 in their opening game and resigned Ronaldo at the end of August.
But recent results have been disappointing, and yesterday’s 4-1 thrashing at newly promoted Watford was described by goalkeeper David de Gea as “embarrassing” and “another nightmare”
It was Man United’s fifth defeat in 12 Premier League games this season and leaves them in 7th place, 12 points behind leaders Chelsea.
Late last month they were thrashed 5-0 at home by Liverpool, with pundits wondering then whether Solskjaer’s time was up.
Then, earlier this month, they lost at home to another key rival – Manchester City leaving Old Trafford with a 2-0 victory.
Solskjaer, 48, did not win any trophies during his three years in charge, losing four of five semi-finals and the single final his team made it to in that period.
Gary Neville, his former teammate, tweeted that the “last two months were tough”.
But he added: “Thank you Ole. You did us proud. You restored some soul into the club.”
In a statement, Manchester United said Solskjaer had “left his role as manager”.
It added: “Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United and it is with regret that we have reached this difficult decision.
“While the past few weeks have been disappointing, they should not obscure all the work he has done over the past three years to rebuild the foundations for long-term success.
“Ole leaves with our sincerest thanks for his tireless efforts as manager and our very best wishes for the future.”
The statement continued: “His place in the club’s history will always be secure, not just for his story as a player, but as a great man and a manager who gave us many great moments.
“He will forever be welcome back at Old Trafford as part of the Manchester United family.”
Solskjaer was almost universally credited with stabilizing the club after he took over from Jose Mourinho in late 2018.
He led United to second in the league last season, overhauled a beleaguered squad, and revived the form of key players including Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba.
But he has been widely criticised for his handling of some players, particularly Dutch international Donny van de Beek – who has played very little despite the team’s well-documented weakness in midfield.
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