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Solskjaer’s United looking for response after rare defeat



Wolverhampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will look for Manchester United to respond to the first domestic defeat of his reign when they face Wolves in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday as the Norwegian moves closer to landing the job on a permanent basis.

United’s shock Champions League victory at Paris Saint-Germain last week carried them through to the last eight and all but confirmed Solskjaer will soon be named Jose Mourinho’s successor on a long-term basis.

Since that famous evening in France, United have tasted defeat for the first time in England on the interim manager’s watch, beaten 2-0 in last weekend’s league visit to Arsenal.

But although that setback dented United’s bid for a top-four finish, it did little damage to Solskjaer’s standing, especially given the nightmare injury list he has endured recently.

Some reports have suggested Solskjaer could be confirmed as manager during the forthcoming international break, which follows the Wolves Cup tie.

United officials have offered no guidance on whether the appointment is imminent, but it emerged last week that Solskjaer does not, as was commonly thought, have a contract with his former club Molde.

He revealed that, with regulations forbidding a manager from having concurrent contracts with more than one club, he tore up his deal with the Norwegian side to join United in December.

It is understood United and Molde have put in place a compensation package should Solskjaer win the post permanently, with a figure of around £500,000 ($665,000) mooted.

However, the United hierarchy, led by executive vice chairman Ed Woodward, have another burning personnel issue to resolve as the club seek to appoint a director of football.

– Pivotal period –

The time-table is for that role to be filled before the end of the season, allowing the newcomer the opportunity to oversee a close-season of transfer activity about which Solskjaer has already been consulted.

The former United striker has talked openly about having been asked by the board for his thoughts on future player sales and acquisitions, although he claims that has no bearing on whether he will eventually land the manager’s job.

It was always believed that March would be a pivotal period in the process of appointing a director of football as plans for the pre-season tour to Australia become finalised and increased attention starts being placed on signings.

Former Tottenham and Southampton head of recruitment Paul Mitchell has been consistently linked with the post.



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