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Manchester United Confirm Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Exit as Manager After Watford Loss

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IV

AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's time as Manchester United manager has come to a close after he agreed to leave his position on Sunday following the club's loss to Watford on Saturday.

Manchester United @ManUtd

Manchester United can confirm that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has left his role as Manager.<br><br>Thank you for everything, Ole ❤️<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MUFC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MUFC</a>

Rob Harris @RobHarris

Breaking: Confirmed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fired by Manchester United. Michael Carrick in temporary charge <a href="https://t.co/VsPp8r1zWS">pic.twitter.com/VsPp8r1zWS</a>

It was first reported on Saturday that the United board, amid a string of five losses in the club's past seven Premier League matches, decided to fire the beleaguered manager, with journalist Fabrizio Romano and Duncan Castles of The Times among those reporting as much.

Castles added that "Richard Arnold [has been] charged with negotiating the exact terms of the Norwegian's exit after almost three trophy-free years at Old Trafford."

Fabrizio Romano @FabrizioRomano

Manchester United working on compensation and written agreement with Ole Gunnar Solskjær. It’s gonna be ‘mutual agreement’ to part ways, as reported before. Solskjær will leave, it’s over. 🔴 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MUFC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MUFC</a><br><br>Official statement expected in the next hours, once paperworks will be completed.

Solskjaer's sacking has felt inevitable for some time, but his position became untenable after Saturday's shocking 4-1 loss to Watford. Through 12 games, United find themselves at seventh in the Premier League table with 17 points, six points behind fourth-place West Ham and 12 points behind leaders Chelsea.

"For sure something is wrong," goalkeeper David De Gea told reporters after the Watford loss. "It is very wrong. What we are doing is very low level and very poor. I have to say sorry to the fans."

Given the talent on United's roster, the results have been well below standard, with Solskajer's job security one of the prevailing storylines in the 2021-22 Premier League campaign.

Squawka Football @Squawka

Manchester United have failed to win any of their last four games against newly promoted sides:<br><br>🤝 1-1 vs West Brom <br>🤝 0-0 vs Leeds <br>🤝 1-1 vs Fulham<br>❌ 1-4 vs Watford<br><br>Time may be up for Ole. ⏳ <a href="https://t.co/pZ60yUn4Zb">pic.twitter.com/pZ60yUn4Zb</a>

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Kevin Palmer 💙 @RealKevinPalmer

So it looks like the decision has been made to belatedly end the misery for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United… making the change last summer after the Europa League final defeat would have the sensible option, but it has to be done now <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MUFC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MUFC</a> <a href="https://t.co/uMV7ceUuc4">pic.twitter.com/uMV7ceUuc4</a>

Jason Davis, Chief Soccer Officer @davisjsn

Ole Gunnar: A man who twisted in the wind so long that his inevitable end can only come as a relief.

"I believe we can turn this around," Solskajer told reporters after Saturday's loss. "I work as hard and as well as I can with the staff I've got, top people, professional players, but at the moment we're not getting the results."

The United board, however, reportedly did not feel he could turn things around. The question now turns to his replacement. Rob Dorsett of Sky Sports reported star forward Cristiano Ronaldo would like to see Spain manager Luis Enrique take the reins:

Rob Dorsett @RobDorsettSky

Cristiano Ronaldo is keen for Luis Enrique to become the new <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/mufc?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#mufc</a> manager, I’m told. The Spain boss likely to be considered for the role along with out-of-work Zinedine Zidane and Erik Ten Hag, the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ajax?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ajax</a> manager. Pochettino and Brendan Rodgers are long shots currently. See <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ssn?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ssn</a>

Castles also reported that technical director Darren Fletcher will take over in an interim basis, with the Glazer family instructing the board to "further accelerate attempts to persuade Zinedine Zidane" to manage the club.

Zidane last managed Real Madrid in two separate tenures, leading the Spanish giants to three UEFA Champions League triumphs and two La Liga titles.

However, United's statement regarding Solskjaer's departure revealed that assistant coach Michael Carrick would assume temporary charge while the club searches for an interim manager.

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