Manchester: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks set to take over at Manchester United until the end of the season after the club described him as their “interim manager” in a caption that was later deleted from their official website.
United sacked Jose Mourinho on Tuesday after having suffered their worst start to a season for 28 years.
A source close to the club said former United striker Solskjaer and their ex-assistant coach Mike Phelan were set to return to Old Trafford as caretaker managers until the end of the season.
Solskjaer currently manages Norwegian side Molde but their 2018 season has finished for the winter and does not restart until March.
The 45-year-old played for United between 1996 and 2007 and scored 126 goals, including the injury time winner in the 1999 Uefa Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
The BBC reported that United had posted a video featuring Solskjaer scoring the winner against Bayern with the caption reading: “Solskjaer becomes our interim manager, 20 seasons after clinching the Treble with THAT goal at Camp Nou ...” The page was later deleted, the BBC said.
United, who are sixth in the league and trail leaders Liverpool by 19 points, face Cardiff City in the league on Saturday.
Solskjaer was manager there for nine months in 2014, during which time the club were relegated from the top flight and had a poor start to the new season in the Championship.
However, former United midfielder Darren Fletcher has said United run the risk of “writing off” next season as well as the remainder of the current one if they appoint an interim manager to replace Mourinho.
“Manchester United should never be in this position,” Fletcher, who won who won five Premier League titles in 12 years at United, told the BBC.
“They’re almost writing off this season and next season because if they appoint a new manager in the summer he’s not going to have much time to look for new players.”
Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has emerged as the bookmakers’ favourite as United look for their fourth full-time manager since 2013 when Alex Ferguson retired after nearly 27 years in charge.
“There is a real concern that you could have two seasons of rebuilding again,” Fletcher added.