Manchester United sack manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Michael Carrick will take charge on a temporary basis while United begin the process of appointing an interim manager until the end of the season.

MANCHESTER UNITED HAVE sacked manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the wake of Saturday’s defeat to Watford.

In a club statement on Sunday morning, United said that “Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United and it is with regret that we have reached this difficult decision.”

Michael Carrick will take charge on a temporary basis, starting with Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Villarreal, while United begin the process of appointing an interim manager until the end of the season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The dismal 4-1 loss at Vicarage Road was United’s fifth in their last seven Premier League games and was described afterwards as “embarrassing” by the under-fire Solskjaer.

United later convened an emergency board meeting to agree the terms of Solskjaer’s severance, reported to be in the region of €8.9 million (£7.5m) by UK media.

“Manchester United announces that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has left his role as manager,” the club statement read.

“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.”

Former United striker Solskjaer was appointed caretaker boss in December 2018 to replace Jose Mourinho.

The Norwegian became the first United manager to win his first six league games, beating a record held by Sir Matt Busby, and was handed the permanent role the following March.

United finished second behind Manchester City last season but currently lie seventh, six points off West Ham in fourth and 12 behind leaders Chelsea.

Solskjaer insisted he could still turn things around in the wake of the chastening defeat to Watford, but it appears the club disagree.

United keeper David De Gea gave a damning verdict on United’s display, telling the BBC: “We don’t know what to do with the ball. We don’t know how to defend properly.

“It was embarrassing, the way we played. The first half was very poor – it’s not acceptable for this club and the level of players that we have.

“It’s another nightmare. There’s been some difficulties but I don’t really know what to say.”

– Additional reporting by Press Association