Belfast Telegraph

Solskjaer awaits next development

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is prepared to listen to an offer from Aston Villa if they make contact with him again, but is happy to "stand by" the remaining two years of his contract with Molde.

Solskjaer, his wife Silje and agent Jim Solbakken were flown by private jet from their home town of Kristiansund to Birmingham for a four-hour meeting with Villa representatives on Friday. They returned to Norway to learn that Molde's billionaire backer Kjell Inge Rokke had pulled the plug on his company's 20-year support as a result of the meeting.

Solskjaer defended his handling of the affair, and said: "It's up to Aston Villa whether there's anything more. I've only spoken with them and expect them to speak to more people. They're looking for a new manager. If they make contact, I'll make a decision then." He jokingly added: "But I won't wait for a private jet."

He indicated he would be happy to remain with Molde, and said in comments reported by the Norwegian media: "I have not had any offers. I'm not looking for another job. In football, and in life in general, things turn up that you have to make decisions about. I have a contract for two more years and I'll stand by that."

Solskjaer suggested after his meeting with Villa that the talks had been nothing more than an "initial, informal chat", but the trip appeared to upset Rokke, who is the chairman and a major shareholder in industrial investment firm Aker.

A statement to newspaper Romsdals Budstikke on behalf of Rokke's business questioned Solskjaer's decision to speak to Villa after the coach missed a training session with Molde in order to fly to England.

"I would have spoken with them (Villa) regardless, despite seeing the consequences of it," he said. "I have to protect myself, my ambitions and my family. I've said for a long time I have ambitions of being a Premier League manager but I hadn't expected to receive enquiries so soon. I've only been home for 18 months.

"But I'm not looking for another job. My children are happy here, my wife is happy, I'm happy and I've had some success."

He added: "The communication could have been better and clearer, we see that with hindsight. But now we are where we are, it's obvious we have to work together. The players are used to speculation about me. What is new is we have lost the backing from Aker ASA, which I understand has been discussed at length.

"Whether it's coincidence or not, it's happened now, we'll get answers. I received a text from Rokke today and we'll discuss it with each other soon."


From Belfast Telegraph