Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stated that he would like to stay on as Manchester United manager after the end of this season.
The 45-year-old reiterated at his first press conference after his return to the club that he was only in charge on a caretaker basis but added: “There are so many managers who would love to be manager of Manchester United, I’m one of them.”
Solskjaer added that he had not spoken to the United hierarchy about the prospect of staying on should things work out. A deal has not been agreed should United decide to retain him but it is unlikely to be an issue with his present club, Molde. “It’s not something we’ve talked about, they’ll do a process for the next six months,” he said.
It is understood that United fully intend to try and appoint Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino and are not fazed by the prospect of paying compensation which could run as high as £42million. However it remains to be seen whether he will join.
In the meantime Solskjaer, the former striker, has been ‘loaned’ from the Norwegian club and said he had no doubts when he was asked to come to United on a temporary basis following the sacking of Jose Mourinho.
“It’s until the summer now, five or six months to just help out in the meantime while the club does the process to get the next manager,” Solskjaer said.
“When you get a job like this (caretaker) and they ask you to sign for six months you say yeah, I’m happy to help out and my job is to do as well as I can.”
Solskjaer has already spoken to the players having taken his first training session on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s Premier League fixture away to Cardiff City.
Caretaker Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of Manchester United speaks during a press conference at Aon Training Complex on December 21, 2018 in Manchester, England – Credit: Getty Images
“They’re footballers, they’re happy, good mood, every time you meet new people you’re excited, it’s the first time you see them, I know a few, had them in the reserves and they’ve been great.”
Solskjaer said he would have “input” in the January transfer window, with United planning a move for a new central defender.
“I will have an input but the job is to get to know the players, observe them 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, they’ve got their targets but I’ve not sat down and talked about that.”
Solskjaer confirmed that Romelu Lukaku had been given “a couple of days off” to deal with a personal matter which, presumably, means he is unlikely to figure against Cardiff.
Asked whether United, 11 points adrift of Chelsea, can finish in the top four, Solskjaer said: “I think first thing is first game, think about getting my principles into the boys, get the players to understand how I want them to play and let’s take the results later on see how many points we can gather but this club has made many many points before but I’m not going to set that target now.”
Solskjaer added: “My job is to help the players, make them grasp the opportunity, they all want to be part of Manchester United. I’m here to help them, help the team, down to man management, I had the best manager (Sir Alex Ferguson) as a player and coach to deal with players and it’s about communication, I’ll sit down and speak to the ones not playing. When you’re at Manchester United there are a set of demands and one is to be a team player and I don’t think anyone has been on the bench more than me! That’s my comeback to players, you might come on make an impact.”