Manchester United chief Ed Woodward makes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer contract decision

Man Utd: Defensive frailties frustrate Solskjaer

Manchester United supremo Ed Woodward will only negotiate a new contract with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the end of the season, according to reports. The Norwegian has steered the club to second in the Premier League table this term. But the Red Devils are in no rush to extend his current deal, which expires next summer.

United hired Solskjaer after sacking Jose Mourinho in December 2018, initially giving the Norwegian the job on an interim basis.

However, after an electric run under his guidance, Woodward then opted to give him a three-year contract.

Solskjaer steered United to third in the table last term, with only Liverpool and Manchester City finishing higher.

And he’s now guided the club to second so far this season, although City remain the overwhelming favourites to win the Premier League title.

Solskjaer’s current contract has 16 months left and The Sun say Woodward is willing to wait until the end of the season before entering talks over an extension.

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They’re said to be prepared to offer him a two-year extension.

While that may seem short, it’s understandable given the way they gave David Moyes a six-year deal when he replaced Sir Alex Ferguson – only to be sacked 10 months later.

United are also willing to boost Solskjaer’s salary to around £6million before bonuses.


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And whether he can keep the club on the right path in the coming weeks and months ahead is something only time will tell.

Woodward said earlier in the campaign that the Red Devils were ready to back the 47-year-old over coming transfer windows, saying: “What happens on the field is clearly our top priority, and while it’s not the same without fans in the stadium, we’ve seen lots of highs since our last meeting in April, with that 14-game unbeaten run to finish third in last season’s Premier League run and great wins against PSG and RB Leipzig on our return to the Champions League this season.

“Of course, we recognise there’s more hard work ahead to achieve the consistency needed to win trophies.

“But we see positive signs on the pitch and the training ground that reinforce our belief in the progress being made by Ole, his coaching team and the players.

“I told this forum back in April that we remained committed to strengthening the squad, while being disciplined in our spending during the pandemic.

“I believe we’ve delivered on that, with the additions we made during the summer taking our total net spending to over €200m since summer 2019 – more than any other major European club over that period.

“We will continue to support Ole with a planned, long-term approach to recruitment, focused on the summer windows.”

Meanwhile, former United star Rio Ferdinand thinks recent results have ruled the club out of title contention.

They drew 3-3 with Everton on Saturday and trail City by five points at the summit, with Pep Guardiola’s side also having a game in hand.

And Ferdinand, who won the lot during his time at Old Trafford, said: “You can’t defend it. At the end of the day Man Utd were sitting pretty at the top of the league.

“We didn’t come into this season expecting to be title challengers. We were too far behind Liverpool (last season). You can’t expect to have a turnaround that big to win the league, it’s impossible.

“But I’m like all the other fans. You see the league table, you look at the results, you get excited. When you put yourself in that position, Man Utd have to strike. You’re there now and there’s an opportunity.

“When there’s an opportunity you’ve got to go. The problem is we’ve let this opportunity slip through our hands. You can see Man City with their experience, they’ve smelt blood, they’ve put their heads down, they’ve gone.

“But United have stuttered, we’ve got the choke going, haven’t got it quite working properly. We have choked, it’s simple as that.

“I’d put us out of the title challenge unless we go on a run and we change our habits and our lack of consistency.

“But I haven’t seen enough to suggest we can go on a ten, 15-game winning streak. We’re tripping ourselves up all the time. It’s top four, we’ll finish second or third.”

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