Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been been appointed Manchester United manager on a permanent basis, the club have announced.
The former Red Devils striker has signed a three-year deal to stay on at Old Trafford after a successful stint as caretaker boss, having taken over from Jose Mourinho in December.
He has guided the club to the quarter-finals of the Champions League by seeing off French champions PSG, and has also overseen a dramatic turnaround in Premier League form.
Despite back-to-back defeats to Arsenal and Wolves before the international break, the Norwegian – who scored 126 goals in 366 appearances for United between 1996 and 2007 – was expected to secure the job permanently.
In a statement on the official club website, Solksjaer said: “It was an honour to be a Manchester United player, and then to start my coaching career here.
“The last few months have been a fantastic experience and I want to thank all of the coaches, players and staff for the work we’ve done so far.
“This is the job that I always dreamed of doing and I’m beyond excited to have the chance to lead the club long-term and hopefully deliver the continued success that our amazing fans deserve.”security threat to UK’ – GCHQ
United managed only 26 points from their first 17 games of the season under Mourinho and found themselves 19 points behind leaders Liverpool by the time he was sacked, and 11 points off fourth-placed Chelsea.
They now sit above Chelsea in the table and are just a few points behind Tottenham and Arsenal, who are their main rivals for a place in the top four and qualification for the Champions League next season.
No team in the Premier League has taken more points than United since Solksjaer took over, with their 32 points from 13 games beating the 31 from 14 earned by Liverpool.
Key players like Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba have also enjoyed a significant upturn in form.
Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said: “Since coming in as caretaker manager in December, the results Ole has delivered speak for themselves.
“More than just performances and results, Ole brings a wealth of experience, both as a player and as a coach, coupled with a desire to give young players their chance and a deep understanding of the culture of the club. This all means that he is the right person to take Manchester United forward.
“I want to thank Ole and the coaching team for everything they have done so far and congratulate him on this richly deserved appointment. The fans and everyone at the club are behind him as he looks to take us where we need to be and build the next stage of our history.”
His former teammate and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville tweeted: “I’m delighted for Ole. I didn’t think this would happen when he was appointed.
“However, the results and spirit in the club have been incredible since he arrived and he deserves it. He now needs support in the transfer market in terms of finance and the right resource!”
Next up for United are Premier League clashes at home to Watford and away to Wolves, before they host Barcelona for the first leg of their last-eight Champions League tie on 10 April.
The second leg will be played six days later, and Manchester City and Chelsea will also visit Old Trafford before the end of the campaign.