English Premier League club Manchester United has sacked manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after a poor run of form which saw the club win just three times in 11 matches in all competitions.
During that run, United has slipped to seventh in the league, 12 points behind leaders Chelsea. They were also knocked out of the Carabao Cup (1-0 by West Ham) and are yet to confirm qualification for the knockout stage of the Champions League.
Solskjaer’s final game in charge was a 4-1 defeat away to Watford on Saturday, a fifth loss in seven league games. Prior to that, the club also suffered embarrassing 2-0 and 5-0 defeats at home to champions Manchester City and bitter rivals Liverpool respectively before the international break.
The 48-year-old took over from Jose Mourinho on an interim basis in December 2018 and was then appointed full-time in March 2019 on a three-year deal.
Solskjaer had also just signed a new deal with the club until 2024 in July.
“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,” the club said in a statement released on Sunday.
“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.”
The Norwegian’s stay at the club was rumoured to be over late on Saturday following multiple reports that the club’s board held lengthy talks after Saturday’s loss. A “mutual agreement to part ways”, which sealed Solskjaer’s fate, had been reported as the final outcome of those internal discussions.
The club said former midfielder Michael Carrick will take charge of the team for the upcoming games, while the club searches for an interim manager until the end of the season.
Manchester United are set to face Europa League champions Villarreal in the Champions League midweek and Chelsea in the league next weekend.
(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)