When asked about a potential return to Molde, Manchester United caretaker manage Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told Norwegian media on Monday: “I think I would have to sign a new contract there.”
Solskjaer was asked about his Twitter account, which currently lists his status as Molde manager, and interim United boss. “I think the contract has expired and that now I only have contract with Manchester United,” he responded (h/t SB Nation).
“There may have to be another contract for that. Let’s see what it says here.”
“No, I am…’manager of Molde’- It’s not what I am doing at the moment, but the plan is to go back there.”
In making this statement, Solskjaer admitted that United have yet to offer him a contract beyond the end of this season, so despite all the speculation that he’ll get the job permanently, nothing is official at this point.
Of course, his having won 13 of the 16 games that he’s been in charge makes him the primary, if not the only candidate to have the gig next season.
Then you also have the public endorsement from forward Anthony Martial, who said his statement was indicative of the sentiment among the other players too; plus the fact that Solskjaer has been included in club marketing promos for next season.
Originally, Solskjaer was in effect being loaned to Old Trafford by Molde, but according to his own statements this week, it doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
For what it’s worth, Molde’s ownership have also made it clear that the Norwegian has their blessing to not return, and instead stay in Manchester (which would result in a nice pay day for them).
So what to make of all of this? Where is the signal amidst all the noise? The BBC’s Simon Stone calls the Molde contract “irrelevant” to what is going on here. He analyzed thusly:
And who’s deciding what’s happening during pre-season, as well as making decisions on transfers and new contracts? The answer is Solskjaer.
The smart money is on him never returning to Molde.
Makes sense to me, there is absolutely no reason for EVP Ed Woodward and the United board to make the Solskjaer situation any more complicated than it needs to be.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation.