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Ed Woodward: Manchester United executive vice-chairman could delay departure to help appoint new manager

It was announced in April that Ed Woodward would leave Manchester United at end of year following collapse of proposed European Super League; Woodward now set to oversee appointment of interim and permanent manager after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked on Sunday

 Ed Woodward
Image: Ed Woodward is due to leave Manchester United at the end of the season, but he could now stay on

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward could delay his departure from the club to oversee the appointment of an interim and then long-term replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

In April, following the collapse of the club's attempt to join the breakaway European Super League, United announced that Woodward would retire at the end of this year.

Woodward admitted at the time that "it would be difficult to walk away" and there has been no further comment on his future since.

However, he has remained at the centre of United's decision-making process, and was instrumental in the decision to sack Solskjaer.

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On this Off Script, Gary Neville gives his thoughts on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's sacking and the current culture at Manchester United

The instability within United's football department means Woodward is likely to still have a key role for many months to come.

The 49-year-old joined United in 2005 and has been in his current role since 2012.

Sky Sports News has been told Woodward gathered all the football staff together on Sunday morning to tell them that, in the wake of Solskjaer's departure, all of their jobs were safe.

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Whoever comes in to the role of interim manager will be expected to work with the existing coaching and support staff.

As things stand, it will only be in the summer, when there is a more rigorous overhaul of Manchester United's football operation, when the new long-term manager will be confirmed.

Analysis: Bad news for Manchester United fans?

Sky Sports News' Ben Ransom on the Essential Football Podcast:

"I think there's a lot of pressure on Ed Woodward, and perhaps he feels it to get this right. Maybe he finally sees an opportunity to leave a legacy on his own part.

"He came under severe pressure on the back of the European Super League plans, I know he came out after and said he wasn't the architect of it all, but in the eyes of the fans, he's very much central with everything that happened with Man Utd being involved, and certainly not withdrawing.

"His position is difficult, but he's always shown a willingness to get involved in the football side of things, even though his background is more corporate.

"Manchester United are such a behemoth of a club, and the corporate side is going very well - let's not forget they carry and service that huge debt, and yet still make huge amounts of profit. They're a global machine when it comes to making money.

"On the football side, they've had Matt Judge in there, also John Murtough, as technical director. They've had that restructure on the football side, with the idea being there's more responsibility for people within football for those decisions. But clearly, Woodward feels he wants to leave some sort of legacy if he wants to stick around and get involved in this.

"I'm not sure how Manchester United fans will react to this. I think they were probably quite looking forward to some form of transition, although if it was a transition to one of his old university colleagues - Richard Arnold - is that the right way to go? Or will they finally start to fully shift the football decisions onto the football side of the pyramid?"

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Sky Sports News has been told Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino would be interested in the managerial position at Manchester United, as Ben Ransom reports

Pochettino interested in Man Utd job

Mauricio Pochettino is interested in replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United manager.

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Pochettino is Manchester United's first choice to take over permanently from Solskjaer, who was sacked on Sunday, and Sky Sports News has been told the former Tottenham boss would be interested in the managerial position at Old Trafford.

However, Pochettino's immediate focus is on PSG's next match against Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Pochettino, who took over at PSG on an initial 18-month deal in January, is contracted to the Ligue 1 club until the summer of 2023 after the option of an extra year was activated.

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Mark Bosnich believes there was an inevitability about Solskjaer's sacking and says Manchester United's culture needs to change

Ole: It's time to step aside

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he is "honoured and privileged" to have managed Manchester United but accepts he paid the price for not being able to "take the next step".

​​Solskjaer was sacked as United manager after an "embarrassing" 4-1 defeat at Watford in the Premier League on Saturday, with Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino the club's first choice to take over next summer.

United have confirmed Solskjaer's assistant Michael Carrick will be placed in temporary charge, with the club also revealing their intention to appoint an interim manager until the end of the season.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Watford's win over Manchester United in the Premier League

Speaking for the first time since his dismissal, Solskjaer told United's website: "First of all, I want to thank the board and the owners for giving me the opportunity, because it's not for everyone and I've had the opportunity.

"I'm so honoured and privileged to have been trusted to take the club forward, and I really hope that I leave it in a better state than when I came."

Ronaldo pays tribute to Ole

Cristiano Ronaldo has paid tribute to "outstanding human being" Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after his sacking as Manchester United manager.

Ole Ronaldo
Image: Cristiano Ronaldo has paid tribute to Solskjaer

Solskjaer brought Ronaldo back to Old Trafford in the summer, with the Portugal forward scoring nine times in 13 games this season.

Ronaldo said on Twitter: "He's been my striker when I first came to Old Trafford and he's been my coach since I came back to Man United. But most of all, Ole is an outstanding human being.

"I wish him the best in whatever his life has reserved for him. Good luck, my friend! You deserve it!"

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