Manchester United have sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager..
Solskjaer’s departure comes after officials of the club met on Saturday to discuss his future moments the embarrassing 4-1 defeat at Watford.
In a brief statement United thanked Solskjaer for his ‘tireless efforts’ – before confirming that they will appoint an interim manager until the end of the season – with Michael Carrick taking charge in the meantime.
They wrote: “Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United and it is with regret that we have reached this difficult decision.
“While the past few weeks have been disappointing, they should not obscure all the work he has done over the past three years to rebuild the foundations for long-term success.
“Ole leaves with our sincerest thanks for his tireless efforts as Manager and our very best wishes for the future.
“His place in the club’s history will always be secure, not just for his story as a player, but as a great man and a Manager who gave us many great moments.
“He will forever be welcome back at Old Trafford as part of the Manchester United family.
“Michael Carrick will now take charge of the team for forthcoming games, while the club looks to appoint an interim manager to the end of the season.”
It is understood that first team coaches Mike Phelan and Kieran McKenna will stay at the club, at least initially, in addition to Eric Ramsay and Martyn Pert.
Former Real Madrid manager Zinadine Zidane has been heavily linked with the role with Ajax boss Erik Ten Haag and Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers also thought to be in contention to replace Solskjaer.
After finishing second in the league last season, United were expected to mount a title challenge this term with the addition of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo.
But Solskjaer has overseen a stuttering start to the season that has seen United lose seven of their last thirteen games in all competitions.
Saturday’s defeat at Vicarage Road was the fifth in their last seven Premier League games and sees the side drop to seventh in the table, on 17 points.
Nigerian international Emmanuel Dennis was at the heart of Watford’s electric performance setting up two goals and scoring one to help his side move four points clear of the drop zone.
Dennis set up Josh King’s opener before Ismaila Sarr ensured Watford entered the break two goals up. Substitute Donny van de Beek pulled one back for United who then lost Harry Maguire to a second bookable offence before Dennis set up Joao Pedro to make it 3-1 and then made sure of the win in injury time.
Solskjaer was initially appointed interim manager when Jose Mourinho was sacked in December 2018. In March 2019 the Norwegian then signed a three-year deal to be the permanent manager of the club he scored 126 goals during his celebrated playing career.
A second-place Premier League finish and a Europa League final in the 2020-21 season sae Solskajer rewarded with a new three-year contract in July.
But he departs Old Trafford just six months into the new deal after yet another devastating defeat on the back of 5-0 and 2-0 defeats at home to rivals Liverpool and Manchester City respectively.
Manchester United are now faced with the task of identifying their fifth permanent manager since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.