Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ‘to be in charge for Villarreal’ as saga takes new twist

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer speaks ahead of Man Utd v Watford

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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to be in charge for Tuesday’s Champions League tie with Villarreal, reports say. The Norwegian seems to be a dead man walking following his side’s 4-1 defeat to Watford on Saturday. But despite talk of the sack rumbling on, it appears the Glazers are willing to hold fire in the meantime.

United expected Solskjaer to guide them to trophies this term, especially after backing him with deals for Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho during the summer transfer window.

But the Red Devils have since endured a horrific campaign, losing seven of their last 13 matches across all competitions.

On Saturday, things stooped to a new low.

United were useless in their 4-1 defeat to Watford, with the players looking flat and staff members looking bereft of ideas to turn things around.

In the time since, there’s been plenty of speculation about Solskjaer losing his job.

With his side in freefall, links to Zinedine Zidane, Laurent Blanc, Erik ten Hag and countless others have arisen.

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Yet the I newspaper claim that Solskjaer, as things stand, appears expected to be in charge for Tuesday’s Champions League match with Villarreal.

With the games coming thick and fast, it seems like the Red Devils board are wary of pulling the trigger just yet.

But Solskjaer’s time still seems over nonetheless, with the board aiming to secure Zidane’s signature.

The Frenchman is currently a free agent after deciding to leave Real Madrid in the summer, having fallen out with club president Florentino Perez.

Yet he’s never managed in the Premier League before and, currently, is enjoying his time away from management.

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United are still undecided over what to do with Solskjaer and his coaches, such as Michael Carrick, Mike Phelan and Kieran McKenna.

And whether they can lift some of the doom and gloom mood with victory over Villarreal in the Champions League remains to be seen.

Solskjaer apologised for smiling after the defeat to Watford when asked why his players weren’t in the right frame of mind prior to the contest.

“Sorry for smiling there, but that’s human beings,” he said.

“I’ve got to say you’re surprised because all these lads – good lads – top players, top professionals, of course when it’s not going for you, it’s going against you.

“It’s hard to play with that mental break. Second half, we come out, nothing to lose, they play fantastically, scored a good goal, created chances, of course it wasn’t enough.”

And the 48-year-old also insisted he could turn the situation around.

“I always have belief in myself,” he said.

“But at the moment it’s a difficult time for us.

“I can trust every single one of there to give what they have, but the results are difficult.

“I believe we can turn this round. I understand the fans, who have supported the club through thick and thin, and have been great over the last few years.

“It’s a difficult period, we have had a hard time since Sir Alex left, and the fans who have been here – since I came in – have been unbelievable.

“They understood the situation, the signings this summer raised expectations, rightly so, because we brought some top players in and having been second last year we hoped to kick on.

“At the moment, we can’t seem to find our form, and it’s their right to show their opinion.

“But as Bruno is such a passionate man, he knows football can change quickly.”

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