Jose Mourinho has been sacked as Manchester United manager, with fans’ favourite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looking set to take over as caretaker manager for the rest of the season.
Appointed to much fanfare in the summer of 2016, the Portuguese became the first manager in the club’s history to win a major trophy in his maiden season.
Mourinho’s Europa League, EFL Cup and Community Shield successes were followed by runners-up finishes in the Premier League and FA Cup last term, but this campaign things have gone awry from the outset.
United have their worst points return after 17 matches in the Premier League era, with Sunday’s chastening 3-1 loss at Liverpool leaving them 19 points behind their bitter rivals.
They also face an eye-watering 11-point gap to the top four, leading the club to dismiss Mourinho at the end of a year that started with handing him a contract extension.
United have moved quickly to find a caretaker manager for the rest of the season, with a deal to appoint Molde boss Solskjaer seemingly ironed out.
A video on the club’s official website was posted on Tuesday evening with the caption: “Solskjaer becomes our interim manager, 20 seasons after clinching the Treble with THAT goal at Camp Nou…”
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg also appeared to let the cat out of the bag, posting on Twitter: “Great day for Norwegian football. Good luck keeping control of the Red Devils, @ olegs26_ole”
Both the video and tweet were quickly removed.
Solskjaer had 11 years at United as a player, memorably scoring in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich to seal the treble in 1999, and spent a period as their reserve coach, working with the likes of Paul Pogba.
The 45-year-old left to join Molde and, after an ill-fated spell at the helm of Saturday’s opponents Cardiff, returned to the Norwegian club, where he signed a new three-year deal at the start of December.
A senior figure at Molde refused to comment about Solskjaer’s potential move to United when contacted by Press Association Sport on Tuesday, but – perhaps tellingly – ended their message with a smiling emoji.
As previously mentioned, Solskjaer has had previous when it comes to coaching at United, and it's now being remembered what the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand said about the Norwegian.
As you can see from the video above, some of United's greatest ever players were a huge admirer of the former striker, so maybe he is the right man to save them from their current woes.
Only time will tell as we wait for an official announcement from the club.