Staggering cost of Manchester United's Ole Gunnar Solskjaer call

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Pictured here, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the 4-1 Premier League defeat at Watford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked as Manchester United manager after a run of bad results. Pic: Getty

Extraordinary details have emerged about the eye-watering sums of money Manchester United will have to fork up after sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the club's manager.

United confirmed that Solskjaer had been shown the door less than 24 hours after the club's latest humiliating defeat - a 4-1 drubbing away to lowly Watford.

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Club chiefs reportedly met after the game at around 7pm and were locked in discussions for five hours before deciding to cut ties the Norwegian.

Making those discussions more complicated was the fact Solskjaer was only just handed a new three-year deal in August, having steered United to a runner-up finish in the Premier League and the final of last season's Europa League.

According to SunSport, the compensation package for terminating Solskjaer's contract comes to around £7.5 million ($A13.9 million), which is understood to be the equivalent of a full year's salary.

The staggering figure means he was the fifth-highest paid manager in the Premier League, behind Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Brendan Rodgers and Marcelo Bielsa.

Leicester's Rodgers is considered one of the favourites to replace Solskjaer as United manager, with former France and Real Madrid icon Zinedine Zidane and Ajax mentor Erik ten Hag's names also heavily linked.

After confirming that assistant coach Michael Carrick would replace Solskjer on an interim basis, the club suggested in a statement that a full-time replacement may not be confirmed until the end of the season.

"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," the club's 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."

Pictured here, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thanks Manchester United fans after his side's 4-1 defeat to Watford in the Premier League.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's last game in charge was Manchester United's 4-1 defeat to Watford in the Premier League. Pic: Getty

Former assistant Michael Carrick takes temporary charge

Carrick's first assignment after stepping up from his role as assistant manager is a vital Champions League clash away to Villarreal on Tuesday.

The decision comes at the end of a torrid run of results for United under Solskjaer, the club great who himself took over on an interim basis back in December 2018 after the sacking of Jose Mourinho.

He rode out a chastening 5-0 home loss to Liverpool and appeared to be back in calmer waters after a 3-0 win at Tottenham, but a comprehensive derby loss to Manchester City meant that the Watford game was essentially a must-win.

The writing was on the wall for Solskjaer when Watford flew into a 2-0 lead through Josh King and Ismaila Sarr.

Substitute Donny van de Beek pulled one back but United's under-fire captain Harry Maguire was sent off after 69 minutes and late goals from Joao Pedro and Emmanuel Dennis piled on the misery.

The struggles were not widely expected when Solskjaer 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 in March 2019.

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 after another chastening afternoon at Vicarage Road, but it appears the club disagree.

United keeper David De Gea gave a damning verdict on United's display at Watford, 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."

with AAP

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