Solskjaer confirmed as interim Manchester United manager

Photo of Solskjaer confirmed as interim Manchester United manager
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Manchester United have found their new interim manager.

Popular former striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will take over on a temporary basis following the departure of Jose Mourinho, the team announced on Wednesday.

Solskjaer was immediately touted as a leading candidate for the job, and has now left Molde in his home country to take charge at Old Trafford until the end of the 2018-19 season.

"Manchester United is in my heart and it's brilliant to be coming back in this role. I'm really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club," the 45-year-old said.

United will continue to search for a long-term replacement during Solskjaer's time in the dugout, with the Red Devils noting they will conduct a "thorough recruitment process" for a new full-time boss.

It is unclear whether the former striker, who scored 126 goals in 366 games for the Red Devils from 1996 to 2007, will be considered as a genuine candidate if he impresses in his caretaker role.

Solskjaer was a popular player at Old Trafford. Nicknamed the Baby-faced Assassin for his youthful looks and predatory strikers' instincts, he was responsible for one of the most famous goals in the club's history when he stuck out a boot to divert home the extra-time winner and complete a last-gasp comeback win against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final.

John Peters / Manchester United / Getty

His record as a manager, however, leaves something to be desired, particularly if you look outside Norway. After serving time as United's striker coach under Sir Alex Ferguson and later managing the reserve team, he rejoined his old playing team Molde and led them to back-to-back Tippeligaen titles and the Norwegian Cup in 2013.

He tried his hand as a senior boss in 2014 by taking over midseason at newly-promoted Premier League side Cardiff City. He lasted just nine months, suffering a scarcely-preventable relegation and being sacked following a poor start to life back in the Championship.

The former Norway international would return to Molde in October 2015 - where he has been since - and signed a new contract extension until 2022 at the start of December.

John Peters / Manchester United / Getty

In one of those peculiar quirks of fate that football seems to provide on a regular basis, his first game in charge of the United first team will be back at Cardiff on Saturday.

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