Solskjaer backed for Premier League job after Brighton links emerge

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was never considered as a candidate to take the vacant head coach role at Brighton, according to reports. The south coast outfit have appointed Roberto De Zerbi on a four-year deal to replace Graham Potter, who has taken charge of Chelsea, meaning Solskjaer is still without work after leaving Manchester United.

The Norwegian was sacked after nearly three years in charge of the Red Devils in November 2021 following a heavy 4-1 defeat to relegated Watford last season. It was thought to be the final straw for Solskjaer after a run of poor form left them on the brink of missing out on Champions League football, while their trophy drought was extended to five years.

Solskjaer was replaced by another interim coach, Ralf Rangnick, as United finished the season in sixth place. Rangnick was then axed from the club despite agreeing to take a consultancy role after his interim position had been filled by Erik ten Hag and later went on to take the job as Austria’s national coach.

And according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano on CaughtOffside, Solskjaer had no chance of being in the frame as Brighton searched for candidates to replace Potter: “I’m told the only man wanted by Brighton was Roberto de Zerbi, the real main priority. I have no information on Solskjaer and talks with Brighton,” Romano said.

“The situation is really quiet around Ole as of now. I’m sure he would be a good call for many Premier League clubs, but he needs a clear and long-term project.”

Solskjaer’s reputation in the game had been increased during his time in the dugout at Old Trafford, having impressed in an interim capacity before he was handed the job full-time in March 2019. However, the United hero was eventually ousted and is yet to find another role in the top-flight.

Solskjaer has more than a decade’s worth of senior managerial experience under his belt and his Premier League experience may see him land a role in the near future. But as recent as May, it was reported in his native Norway that he had rejected a number of opportunities to get back into management.

As well as presiding over a second-placed finish with United in 2020-21, he guided Molde to two Norwegian Tippeligaen titles and the Norwegian Cup. His first foray into English football as a manager saw him take Cardiff City down to the Championship in May 2014 — and that remains a small blot on his record.

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He was strongly linked with the Burnley job after Sean Dyche was sacked before their subsequent relegation last season. However, the Clarets opted to hire another former Manchester-based footballer, Vincent Kompany, who had made an impression in his first coaching role in Belgium with Anderlecht.

There may be another opportunity for Solskjaer to consider soon, with Leicester City head coach Brendan Rodgers under intense pressure after failing to win any of their first seven matches this season. 

And if the Foxes show interest in hiring the former United boss, it may be the right role to tempt him back into football after 10 months on the sidelines.

But for now, his son’s Under-14 team in Norway has proved to be enough of a stimulant to keep Solskjaer occupied while he waits for his next challenge.

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