Manchester United will reportedly pay Norwegian club Molde £6m as a goodwill gesture to appoint manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Molde’s chief executive officer Oystein Neerland claimed last week that Solskjaer still has another two years to run on his existing deal with the club.
According to The Sun, though, United have found out that they are not obliged to pay them a penny as the 46-year-old’s deal at the Aker Stadium expired in December once he took charge of the Red Devils on a caretaker basis.
As per FIFA rules, Solskjaer could not have contracts with more than one club so his Molde contract was ripped up.
However, United chiefs have retained a good relationship with their Molde counterparts and it is claimed that they will hand over a small sum as compensation.
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Solskjaer has taken charge of 17 matches since replacing Jose Mourinho two-and-a-half months ago, winning 14 of those and losing just once.
The intention was for Solskjaer to return to his role at the Molde helm in May, with the Norwegian club’s chief executive Oystein Neerland saying they are happy to ‘lend’ their manager to United.
Last week Neerland was quoted as saying he was only with United ‘until the end of the season’ and still hoped that he would return to Molde – but Solskjaer has muddied the waters somewhat.
Speaking to Fotballklubben podcast, the 46-year-old said: ‘I’m not sure how it works. I think the contract is expired and that I’m now under contract with Manchester United. I think we need a new contract there (at Molde).’
Solskjaer has signed a deal with United until the end of the season and that any return to Molde would be down to the club and manager to agree.
It is believed a manager cannot have contracts with two different teams at the same time.
United owners have preserved a healthy relationship with Molde and are hugely grateful that they allowed Solskjaer to step in as caretaker without delay.
The Red Devils are therefore happy to make a £6million goodwill payment once they officially present him as Jose Mourinho’s full-time replacement.
It is a small fraction of the £40m it would have cost to lure Mauricio Pochettino from Tottenham.
Pochettino was initially the leading contender to take over at Old Trafford — but a remarkable turnaround in form under the 46-year-old led to a change of plan.
United have won 13 of 16 games under Solskjaer and made fought back from a two-goal first-leg deficit to beat PSG and reach the Champions League quarter-finals.