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Solskjaer In Talks With Villa

Reports emerged last night link Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with the vacant manager’s position as Aston Villa.

This morning, word from Norway was that Solskjaer was absent from Molde training.

The club have now confirmed that our former striker is in talks with the Premier League club.

“Molde FC is aware of interest and contact from Aston Villa, and that they are talking together.”

In his first year of management last season, Solskjaer won Molde’s first ever league title. The club Solskjaer left to join United regard him as a legend for what he has achieved with them, particularly when you consider Molde finished 11th out of 16 the season before he was appointed.

Personally, I’d hope that Solskjaer remains at Molde and takes his time. They are in the second round of the Champions League qualifying so he should see what he can do with them and pick up valuable experience.

“I don’t think he should rush into it because experience is good and the experience he has got at Molde is a very good one,” Ferguson said last November. “He comes from the area. His wife and family are all back home there. He has won the championship and there is no need to hurry. The time will come and the timing will be important but he is easily capable of coming into English football.”

Although, if Solskjaer does take the job, it would be great to see him every week on Match of the Day and welcome him back at Old Trafford when Villa come to play.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Gorse Hill Red says:

    Was only a matter of time when a premiership club would come calling for him. Will be a tough test for the Norwegian legend.

  2. Milesplattingred says:


  3. Jeet says:

    I hope not. He should build Molde for a few more years, get CL exposure, and then come to the prem. 3-4 yrs at Molde. 3-4 more at prem club. Then The Promised Land.

  4. CedarsDevil says:

    I certainly hope NOT. Ole is doing a great job at Molde and will have a chance to play his team in the CL…..Only one club for him in England

  5. The Left Bank says:

    I wouldn’t do it. I would hope he would stay with Molde and see them through their first ever Champions League competition.

    He needs to make his ‘mistakes’ away from the unforgiving gaze of the EPL before he sets foot ashore again. I’m not sure Villa is the right place for him. If O’Neill walked out because of issues with Lerner then I can’t see how Ole will fare any better. I think he may damage his reputation if he is ever to consider taking over SAF in the years to come.

    Solskjaer has time on his side. United will never forget its legends. Especially one that many United fans see as a natural to take over from the Govan Knight (a la Guardiola).

  6. Ji Sung says:

    Don’t do it Ole. Please!!!

  7. Shebangsthedrums says:

    I hope not, how far can he take Villa really? I agree, he’d be better staying at Molde, get some European experience and staying away from the English tabloid media, who would love to knock him as soon as he faulters. I’d ofcourse wish him luck if he does take it though.

  8. David Q says:

    This could be the perfect stepping stone to the United hot seat.

  9. Doghouse says:

    Let’s not kid ourselves guys, experience at Molde is not enough. It’s a really low level league and it shows great ability for him to have won it with the team available, but he needs more. He needs to get out and about if he’s going to improve. Aston Villa is a decent club to get him some serious experience, and we’ll see what happens.

  10. Marq says:

    I think those that do not want him to come to England so fast is because they don’t want him to follow the footsteps of Bruce & Keane, where they get too much attention that they can’t learn the trade. Staying at Molde, if they qualify for the CL, would be a good experience for Ole.

    If Ole is to come to England, I feel perhaps Wigan would be a better choice if Martinez does go to Liverpool. They have got a very good chairman and decent squad

  11. Panderi says:

    If he is flying into England to hold talks he has to be pretty damn serious about taking the job. Personally I hope he stays at Molde, take them into the Champions League Group stage(Maybe they’ll get drawn in the same group as us ;) ) and finish what he started. Maybe Fergie can give him some advice ? In the end though Ole is his own man an whatever decision he makes is hopefully the right step towards his destiny. We all know what that is don’t we ? :)

  12. mocthezuma says:

    Don’t go there Ole!

    Wait for Martinez to go to Liverpool and join Wigan instead! :D

  13. mikekelly12 says:

    I agree he should step up his challenge at a premier league club but A) one or two seasons at Molde is still needed to get experience of defending a title, managing expectations of a league winning side and it’s owners and fans, playing football in the champions league, strengthening and refreshing his squad B) Don’t go to Villa!

  14. Red Mick says:

    Whatever he does, wherever he goes, I hope he is successful…. Even if it is Villa with their wanky ingurlunder fans. Next stop in his career…. O.T as Fergies successor!

  15. samuel - united WE stand says:

    I think solksjaer is jumping ship a little too early. villa are a good club but they won’t be giving ole the big transfer funds like they did with O’neil. The fans expectations are high and he’d have to deliver with a threadbare squad, i guess he welcomes challenges like this.

    Staying at molde, he’d take them right into europe, where the best ply their trade, he’d gain valuable experience both tactically and mentally. He obviously has full control of the team. staying another season wouldn’t have hurt but there you go, the glamour and bright lights of the premier league is too tempting even though the consequences of not doing the job well can affect your career, your image could be tarnished by a media whose sole purpose is to bring people down.

    It’s a challenge alright, sometimes in life you gotta take a calculated risk and i hope he does well.

  16. WillieRedNut says:

    Don’t do it Ole.

  17. mancdub says:

    I think Ole needs prem experience. It’s the only way we’ll know how good he is.

  18. Redbilly says:

    Mikekelly- agree with your points re his transition. Though it’s not PLstandard, managing the clubs expectations for a couple of seasons plus CL football is invaluable . Then a PL club with a decent squad . No need to rush , united can wait while he practices elsewhere . :-)

  19. Redbilly says:

    Regardless , not villa

  20. Albert Ross says:

    It is tempting for Ole to think that in 2 years time he will have had 2 years in the Premiership, which is more valuable perhaps than 2 years in Norway.

    I think of Sir Alex’s time at East Stirlingshire, then St Mirren, and then Aberdeen, and expect that Ole will also think about that period’s role in Fergie’s growth as a Manager to the very highest level.

  21. mancdub says:

    He needs give it a try. Villa will make him or break him.
    Lots of fans would love to see Ole eventually come back and manage United. My self included. But he needs to prove himself first.
    Villa are a sleeping giant. Let’s have a look what Ole can do with them.
    Good luck Ole

  22. WillieRedNut says:

    He’s on a hiding to nothing taking this job. Villa fans have high expectations for some reason. Whatever happens, I’ll wish him the best. Legend!

  23. Albert Ross says:

    If Ole does go to Villa, they will no doubt get a few players off United.

    Perhaps a nickname like Almost United, which will irritate their fans nicely

  24. King Eric says:

    Why not? If he does a good job which I am sure he will it will only raise his profile. Give him Prem experience then take over Fergie! Villa are a big club. 20LEGEND.

  25. King Eric says:

    mancdub – Spot on.

  26. WillieRedNut says:

    Wolves are a bigger club. ;)

  27. Costas says:

    Too soon. He should stay in Norway and perfect his craft a bit more.

  28. WillieRedNut says:

    I concur with Costas. Big rebuilding job at Villa.

  29. Fred says:

    I agree with the general concensus that Ole should stay at Molde rather than jump ship to Villa – for the sake of loyalty as much as the other good reasons given.

    However, I’m sure Ole wouldn’t have made this decision without first consulting his mentor, the old master Sir Alex Ferguson. If Ole is going to take the Villa job, I can only assume he is doing so with the encouragement of Sir Alex.

  30. Fred says:


  31. Balaji Sivaraman says:

    Fred, Absolutely spot on! That is exactly the first thing that crossed my mind. Not that these blokes aren’t self-thinking individuals but they would definitely ask Sir Alex before making a decision as to what is the best course of action for them. That is why Gary’s appointment at England doesn’t surprise me either. It wouldn’t have been done without Sir Alex’s blessings, and the same goes for Ole’s negotiations with Villa.

  32. MG says:

    Whatever happens

    Do not go to Liverpool


    Only joking :lol:

  33. Albert Ross says:

    I also agree with General Costas consensus.

    Rather than trying to be a big cheese, Ole should stay Molde while he matures.

  34. Fred says:

    You joke, but I’m pretty sure he supported them when he was growing up in Norway.

  35. Fred says:

    Liverpool that is, not cheese.

  36. Albert Ross says:

    Perhaps a Gunnar?

  37. Costas says:

    Ole right now is at the stage Keane was when he won the Championship in his first year with Sunderland. Keane had to enter a new environment when Sunderland rejoined the Premiership and he obviously wasn’t ready for it. Solskjaer (in all likelyhood) isn’t ready for the Premier League yet. It would be a shame if Ole’s credibility as a manager took a hit this soon.

  38. united forever says:

    would be good for ole get some experience then come to united for the top job

  39. scottbamutd says:

    ole has denied these talks and is sticking with Molde.
    interview on

  40. scottbamutd says:

    Also Rafael takes dani alves spot in Brazil squad.

  41. utd_fc says:

    Think this is a good idea. Blood him for the EPL and if he shows promise (which i believe he will), he can eventually be Sir Alex’s successor. I don’t wanna bring this topic up because SAF is going strong and i hope will for as long as he can, but eventually the time to change will come, and I’d rather that transition be someone who knows the club rather an outsider.

  42. StatesideAussie says:

    He is, and always has been, a great student, thinker and reader of the game. It was no fluke that he was so consistently good at cming on late and scoring. No luck involved. Should stay with Molde, take them into the CL next season and the season after, then come to OT and rule for the next 30 years.

    Besides, who will ever forget the way he chased Rob Lee down the entire length of the pitch and hacked him down? Like a guided fucking missile, hunted him down like a starving cheetah, like a hammerhead shark after meat! Fucking brilliant. To this day, the most blatant and deliberate and cynical piece of play I can remember, so terrible it was actually hilarious. Eeven if it did piss off Sir Alex. Cheers lads!

  43. Albert Ross says:

    Solskjaer said: “I can confirm I’ve spoken with Aston Villa. There were no negotiations, but an informal initial chat. They also have other candidates they want to talk to. I wanted to show respect for one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League by responding to their questions with an initial talk.”

  44. Albert Ross says:

    Solskjaer’s trip to Birmingham angered the Norwegian club’s billionaire backer who has now decided to withdraw his company’s 20-year backing for the Club.

    Solskjaer and his wife Silje flew to England on Villa owner Lerner’s private jet from their home town of Kristiansund. After a four-hour meeting that also included Solskjaer’s agent Jim Solbakken, they returned to Norway to prepare for the league clash at Sandnes Ulf tomorrow.

    He called the talks with Villa “casual” but businessman Kjell Inge Rokke, chairman and a major shareholder in industrial investment firm Aker was furious. Rokke said Solskjaer had been asked to answer questions about his plans before holding talks with Villa but had not provided answers.

    Rokke said: “This is perceived as incompatible with the MFK (Molde Football Club) community that we are both a part of.”

    Note: The reported threat to withdraw backing is not substantiated by these quotes. If that is Rokke’s intention, we will find out soon enough. Doesn’t seem likely, why would he penalise the Club he backs?

  45. Albert Ross says:

    Solskjaer told a news conference that he currently isn’t “on the look-out for a new job.”

  46. Albert Ross says:

    Molde money men Kjell Inge Rokke and Bjorn Rune Gjelsten, who used to own Wimbledon, claim they will withdraw funding from the Norwegian champions after Solskjaer’s failure to answer their concerns before visiting Villa.

    They say he failed to respond when asked if he intended to leave the club this season and to take Molde coaching staff and players with him.

    A statement on the Molde website confirmed the investors’ intention to withdraw their backing.

    “Molde thanks Kjell Inge Rokke and Aker ASA for many greats years together as the clubs biggest investors. They are sorry for the results of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s actions, and confirms that the story in Aker’s statement is how it happened.

    “Today’s news has given the club some big challenges, but it will stand tall and keep working as a leading club in Norway.”

  47. Albert Ross says:

    It sounds to me like Rokke and Gjelsten didn’t like the fact that Ole was getting all the plaudits.
    A little spiteful jealousy reared it’s head the moment they feared losing Ole. Trying to show who’s boss while playing the pity card. Ole is not staying at Molde because of them. They can fuck off, I’m sure that other backers will be clamouring for a piece of the action Ole brings to Molde.

  48. Albert Ross says:

    “I have not had any offers,” Solskjaer says. “I’m not looking for another job. In football, and in life in general, things turn up that you have to make decisions about. I have a contract for two more years and I’ll stand by that.”

    “We strive for personal development and players who do well get requests all the time. I was asked by a friend whether I was interested in speaking with Villa. I called Kjell Inge straight away. We agreed that I could speak to them on Wednesday, that it was okay. I don’t feel that I have lost anyone’s confidence. I had a good chat with Molde this morning where we agreed that we should look forward. We have some challenges we need to tackle. I will also speak to Kjell Inge as I must apologise for the way this came out.”

    “Roberto Martinez has been given permission to speak to Liverpool, who are a fantastic big club and you know he has ambitions – not a problem. The communication could have been better and clearer, we see that with hindsight. But now we are where we are, it’s obvious that we have to work together.”

    “The players are used to speculation about me. What is new is we have lost the backing from Aker ASA, which I understand has been discussed at length. Whether it’s coincidence or not, it’s happened now, we’ll get answers. I received a text from Rokke today and we’ll discuss it with each other soon.”

  49. Nawaaz Casoojee says:

    I feel that he should stay with Molde and try to take them into the Champions League as that would be fantastic in terms of experience. The English Premier League is the most difficult league in world football and so at a club like Aston Villa,I feel that it would be really tough to achieve success!
    He should continue at Molde for now and in time,he should join up and be Sir Alex Ferguson’s number two as that will put him in good stead to eventually take over at United.
    I honestly do feel that Solsjkaer is a contender to become Uniteds manager when Sir Alex does retire. He has a rich history with the club as a player,and has managed the reserve side as well.

  50. Fred says:

    Good for Ole. Win a few more titles with Molde and have a crack at the Champions League too. 8)


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