MANCHESTER: Manchester United have appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their permanent manager on a three-year contract, the Premier League club said on Thursday (Mar 28).
The 46-year-old Norwegian has guided United to 14 wins in 19 matches in all competitions as caretaker boss since replacing the sacked Jose Mourinho in December.
Solskjaer, who scored 126 goals in 366 appearances for United, was already a hero to fans as the man who scored the stoppage-time winner in the 1999 Champions League final to complete the treble.
"From the first day I arrived, I felt at home at this special club," Solskjaer said in a statement on United's website. "It was an honour to be a Manchester United player, and then to start my coaching career here.
"This is the job that I always dreamed of doing and I'm beyond excited to have the chance to lead the club long-term and hopefully deliver the continued success that our amazing fans deserve."
United have won 10 of their 13 Premier League games under Solskjaer and reached the Champions League quarter-finals with a dramatic victory at French champions Paris St Germain.
Several members of the first-team squad, including record signing Paul Pogba, have praised Solskjaer for restoring the confidence and freedom the team lacked towards the end of Mourinho's tenure.
"More than just performances and results, Ole brings a wealth of experience, both as a player and as a coach, coupled with a desire to give young players their chance and a deep understanding of the culture of the club," said Ed Woodward, United's executive vice chairman.
"This all means that he is the right person to take Manchester United forward. I want to thank Ole and the coaching team for everything they have done so far and congratulate him on this richly deserved appointment."
Fifth-placed United, who are locked in a battle for Champions League qualification spots with Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, host Watford in the league on Saturday.
Solskjaer's former United teammate Peter Schmeichel tweeted: "Congratulations my friend, it is well deserved. Up and onwards let's chase some trophies."
Former United defender Gary Neville welcomed the appointment and urged the club to back the new full-time boss financially.
"I'm delighted for Ole," Neville tweeted. "I didn't think this would happen when he was appointed. However the results and spirit in the club have been incredible since he arrived and he deserves it. He now needs support in the transfer market in terms of finance and the right resource!"
Another former United teammate of Solskjaer's, Rio Ferdinand, tweeted: "Yessss Ole is officially at The Wheel... Signed, Sealed, Delivered! Manager of @ManUtd! I hope my Thank You is in post Ole."