Report: Manchester United to part ways with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United's manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leaves the field at the end of the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford. (Rui Vieira/AP)

Manchester United has reportedly reached an agreement that will see the club part ways with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to Fabrizio Romano, a prominent Italian journalist who specializes in soccer transfers.

The decision comes after an emergency board meeting was called by the Glazer family, which owns United, during the second half of Saturday’s loss against Watford. During the meeting, Richard Arnold, the group managing director, was instructed to negotiate the terms of Solskajer’s departure.

According to The Times, it is believed cutting ties with Solskjaer will cost United £7.5 million.

Darren Fletcher, the club’s technical director, is believed to be ready as an interim solution if no instant solution is found, according to Romano’s reporting.

Solskjaer’s departure comes amid a period of profound on-field struggle for United.

“I work as hard as I can, as well as I can,” Solskjaer said on Saturday when asked about his future. “But at the moment we’re not getting the results so I understand your question. But as I said, I’m not going to discuss that with you here and now.”

United had won just four of Solskjaer’s last 13 games in charge. Saturday’s result was bad enough but the performance was so lacklustre — even before two late goals padded the scoreline for Watford — that it spurred Solskjaer’s exit, with United dropping to seventh place in the English Premier League table.

After overseeing yet another humiliating loss as United’s manager, Solskjaer walked over to the angry away fans and held both hands up in apology, before giving them a quick wave.

“It was an embarrassing first half,” United goalkeeper David De Gea said. “It was hard to watch the team playing like today. I think it’s a nightmare.”

Solskjaer had been able to ride out previous stretches of underperformance, in part because of his popularity with fans as a former striker who took on legendary status because of his ability to come off the bench to score crucial winners. But even the United fans seemed to turn against him when he came over to applaud them after the game.

“We’re embarrassed by losing the way we do,” Solskjaer said about his gesture of apology toward the fans. “Sometimes you’ve got to say sorry. And that was a ‘sorry for the performance.'”

— With files from the Associated Press

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