Manchester United are being tipped to formally appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their new permanent manager this week, seemingly before the club hosts Watford at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
Solskjaer has overseen an incredible turnaround since taking over from Jose Mourinho on an interim basis in December, winning 14 of the 19 games he’s taken charge of.
Speculation that it is a case of when and not if the Norwegian will be handed the role full-time has been growing for some time and the Daily Mail now claims it couldbe ‘this week’.
The report acknowledges that United sources remained quiet when pressed on Monday and that the club has maintained from the start no announcement would be made until the end of the season. But the Mail insists it could (not quite definitive) come earlier to end the speculation.
It has already been rumoured this month that the announcement might happen before May, at least, while several players including Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukakuhave publicly praised Solskjaer and expressed hope that he will stay on in 2019/20.
United were heavily linked with Zinedine Zidane, who was then out of work, and Mauricio Pochettino when Mourinho was first sacked, with Old Trafford legend Solskjaer something of a surprise caretaker appointment after being poached from Norwegian club Molde.
But it is a testament to the 46-year-old’s achievements since taking on the role that United are believed to no longer be looking at any other candidates. Solskjaer is widely also rumoured to be heavily influencing transfer market planning ahead of next season.
United trailed the Premier League top four by 11 points when Mourinho was sacked. Solskjaer’s blend of positivity, excellent man management and adaptable tactics have changed everything and eradicated that seemingly unbridgeable chasm in just two months.
Although things haven’t been perfect, the optimism surrounding United has been restored.
Solskjaer also steered the club into the Champions League quarter finals against the odds with an historic aggregate comeback against Paris Saint-Germain, United’s first knockout tie win in Europe’s elite competition since 2014, and only the second since 2011.