The Sunday Mail
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still in the dark over his future at Manchester United.
The Old Trafford hierarchy reportedly are ready to appoint Solskjaer on a permanent basis after seeing him stage a remarkable turnaround at the club since taking over as caretaker manager in December.
But the 46-year-old Norwegian and his No 2 Mike Phelan are yet to receive confirmation of United’s decision as they look to plan ahead for next season.
It’s understood that Phelan will return to Australia during next week’s international break in his role as sporting director for Central Coast Mariners.
Solskjaer’s contract at Molde was torn up when he returned to Old Trafford on a short-team deal until the end of the season, and he is still waiting for United to extend it.
The club would also have to pay Molde £500,000 in compensation as part of the loan agreement.
Solskjaer has repeatedly answered questions about his future by saying that he will continue to focus on his job until United make a decision.
And entails guiding the Red devils to a respectable finish in the Barclays Premier League and the all important Champions League tie against heavy favourites Barcelona. It is the afforementione Champions League tie, that Solskjaer is relishing the most after Manchester United and Barcelona were paired together during Friday’s draw.
The tie takes Solskjaer back to the scene of his greatest triumph at the Nou Camp, where he scored the winner in the 1999 final against Bayern Munich.
In the other quarter-finals, Manchester City meet Tottenham, Liverpool face unfancied Porto and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus take on Ajax.
And Solskjaer is backing United to pull off another momentous result against Lionel Messi’s Barca, following the sensational comeback win over Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16.
“It’s these games our fans and this club crave. We’re looking forward to this one,” he said.
“We had the final against them in 2009 and 2011 and the semi-final in 2008 when Scholesy (Paul Scholes) scored.
“We want these games against the biggest clubs. We’ve shown against PSG we can beat a top team. We can go all the way, but you’ve got to be lucky and good along the way. The confidence in the players, it’s sky high,” he said.
Solskjaer, who wore number 20 on his back during his time as a United player, remembers his previous visits to Catalonia fondly.
He added: “It had to be (Barcelona)! I’ve had so many texts from friends saying this year is going to be the year that we’ll get through because of my number, 20, and it being 20 years ago. We’re off to the Nou Camp again!
“It was the biggest night I’ve had in football. Of course, for all of us in that team, it was an unbelievable night. It’s a great stadium… and, of course, we met them in the group stages as well that year — 3-3 each both home and away. It’ll be a good game.”
United have been forced to reverse the tie — now playing the first leg at Old Trafford on Wednesday, April 10, and the second leg at the Nou Camp on Tuesday, April 16 — as their home game clashed with City hosting Tottenham. They may face bitter rivals Liverpool in the semi-final if both clubs progress, while the winner of City versus Spurs will meet Juventus or Ajax.—Dailymail.