Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been confirmed as the new manager of Cardiff City, and denies reports Sir Alex Ferguson advised him to turn the job down.
The Bluebirds have been on the lookout for a new boss after controversial club owner, Vincent Tan, sacked Malky Mackay last Friday. Solskjaer was installed as early favourite for the job, having impressed in his first managerial position at Molde, who he has led to successive league title triumphs in his homeland of Norway.
It was suggested last week that Ferguson had been in touch with his former Manchester United charge, and advised him to turn the job down because of the way Tan runs the club. As well as dismissing Mackay just months after leading Cardiff to the top-flight, the Malaysian business sacked popular head of recruitment Iain Moody and replaced him with a 23-year-old who was previously on work experience, and, the most controversial of all, he also changed the club’s home kit colours from blue to red.
But upon agreeing a deal to become their new manager, Solskjaer has denied Ferguson had advised him not to take the job, Indeed, the 40-year-old has revealed that he has spoken with the former Old Trafford boss, who was supportive of his decision to succeed Mackay and take his first steps on the Premier League managerial ladder.
“I feel lucky to be back in the Premier League. I had to have a talk about it with the family obviously but it is a great opportunity,” said Solskjaer. “He (Ferguson) has wished me the best and given me some good advice as he always does. I had a good conversation with him. It is absolute nonsense (that he told me to turn down Cardiff).”
Solskjaer was in attendance at the Emirates Stadium on New Year’s Day, when he saw his new side fall to a late 2-0 defeat to Arsenal. His first game in charge comes on Saturday afternoon, when they travel to Newcastle United for an FA Cup third round clash. West Ham United then visit Wales for a crucial relegation clash, before the Bluebirds round the month off with trips to Manchester to face both United and City.
It has been reported that Solskjaer will be given as much as £25million to spend this month, and Tom Ince, the Blackpool winger, is believed to be amongst his targets. Former Manchester United youngster Mats Moller Daehli, who joined Solskjaer at Molde, is also expected to make the move to the Cardiff City Stadium.