Solskjaer says no talks yet on long-term United future

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom (AFP) – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not yet spoken to Manchester United bosses about extending his stay at Old Trafford beyond the end of the season despite a perfect start to his reign.

The Norwegian former striker has won his first four Premier League matches as United manager – a record that only former boss Matt Busby can match.

He made clear after the victory at Newcastle this week that he would love to stay in the job beyond the summer, when his loan from Norwegian club Molde is set to expire, but said yesterday that he had not spoken to Executive Vice-Chairman Ed Woodward about that.

“It’s early days,” said Solskjaer. “When I came in they were open and honest. They have a process to look for the next manager but the more you’re here the more you enjoy it.

“It’s one game at a time, though, and the day they announce the next manager, if it’s me or someone else, then good luck to them.”

Solskjaer added that, because of his interim status, he would have only a limited say in United’s January transfer activity.

He said he was happy with the squad as it stands and that there was no urgent need to add to it.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has put himself in-line to become Manchester United long-term manager. – AP

“The club’s probably had a plan,” he said. “You don’t just plan the next day and next month. This transfer window has probably been planned since the summer and the year before.

“The structure here is phenomenal, I’m sure they’ve got their targets. I’m here to voice my opinion on that and I’m sure we’ll sit down, me and Ed, if we’ve got anything in the pipeline.

“I’m here to work with the ones I’ve got. They’ve all performed and as long as they perform, they should get a chance. But that’s my job, to improve players and individuals.”

Solskjaer is focussing on FA Cup progress against Reading, who are second from bottom of the Championship.

The Norwegian won the trophy in 1999 and 2004 as a player with United, and is keen to succeed in the competition as a manager.

Paul Pogba is likely to miss the third-round home tie tonight with a minor injury.

“I’m not sure if Paul’s going to be ready,” said Solskjaer. “He got a knock against Newcastle. If (Marouane) Fellaini gets through the session today, it’s more or less a full squad.

“Definitely, there’ll be a few changes and they’ll get a chance. Some of them are itching now to play of course. It’s a chance to get Lukaku and Sanchez a start. That’s important for them because they need more game time.”