Saturday 19 January, 2019

Solskjaer expects to have say in United's January transfers

Manchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Manchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expecting to have a degree of input in Manchester United's January transfer plans despite only being appointed as Jose Mourinho's successor on an interim basis.

Following Sunday's 3-1 defeat to bitter rivals Liverpool, Mourinho was sacked by United after a dismal start to the season, which has left them 19 points off the top of the table.

United acted by installing club icon Solskjaer in a temporary capacity, borrowing him from Norwegian club Molde until the end of the campaign, with the view to conducting a thorough recruitment process for Mourinho's long-term successor in the meantime.

Although Solskjaer is deified among some United supporters for his contributions as a player, the unusual arrangement has raised questions, particularly regarding his power over players and influence on squad building.

"I will have an input, but the job is to get to know the players, observe them," Solskjaer told reporters in his first news conference on Friday ahead of the trip to Cardiff City, whom he previously coached for a brief and unsuccessful spell in 2014.

"I've seen more or less every game from Norway, but to get to know the players, what do I think I can improve them on?

"And the club have got the recruitment and scouting, so I'm sure they've got their targets, but I've not sat down and talked about that."

Solskjaer arrived at United knowing the club are not planning to hire him in the long-term, and while he acknowledges he would love to be there permanently, he is just content to be helping out in a trying time.

"When you get a job like this and you sign for six months, you say 'I'm happy to help out'," Solskjaer added. "My job now is to do as well as I can and move the club forward as well as I can.

"I understand that there are so many managers that would love to be at this club. I am one of them. It is not something that we have talked about.

"They are going to do their process for the next six months."

Solskjaer's United spell begins at struggling Cardiff on Saturday, before back-to-back home games against Huddersfield Town and Bournemouth ahead of the new year.

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