Solskjaer retains United job 'dream'
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted it is his dream to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United boss, but he expects Fergie to continue in the job for a long while yet.
Speaking to Monday's Marca ahead of Wednesday's Champions League last 16 first leg between United and Real Madrid at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, the former striker and current Molde boss said he could see himself managing in England one day.
That is an ambition which he could have realised already, having been linked with vacancies at Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers in the past year, but the Norwegian said a return to Old Trafford was his ambition.
"You never know," Solskjaer said. "I feel at home in England and, although I am delighted here, one of those offers which are impossible to turn down could come along. Maybe it sounds stupid, but to manage United is my dream. But look, I am not saying it is going to happen."
Solksjaer believes Ferguson could continue in the job for another four seasons at least, and would not like to be the person deciding on his eventual replacement in the United dugout.
"Winning trophies gives him energy," he said. "Although he is now 71, he could keep going until 75. I am happy not to [have that task]. I believe the most important thing is to continue with the club's traditions. To succeed Sir Alex you need to have personality and to be a winner."
The 1999 Champions League winner, now 39, was asked to run the rule over the current United strike force.
"[Wayne] Rooney has been a top player since he was 16," he said. "He has changed his way of playing, and is more complete now. [Robin] Van Persie is the MVP of this season. He is a superstar without the ego of a superstar. It makes me proud that Chicharito is called the new Solskjaer."
After retiring as a player in 2007, Solkskjaer became manager of United's reserve side, before leaving to take charge of his first senior Norwegian club Molde in January 2011. The still relatively young coach said almost everything he knew about football had been learned from his former boss.
"I worked with Ferguson for 15 seasons, first as a player and then as reserve-team coach, and his way of working has influenced my own football philosophy," he said. "Almost everything I know I learned from Sir Alex. We both believe in ourselves, we always want to win, we take a chance on young players and we work hard. The bigger the challenge, the more energy Ferguson puts into it."
Molde won their first ever Norwegian league title in Solskjaer's first season in charge, and then retained their title last year, playing a brand of passing football far from the country's traditional style.
"Before we were a typical Norwegian team, but Spain and Barcelona have shown another way of playing," he said. "A year ago, watching Spain against Venezuela with my team I told them 'This is what I want'. It was the best experience I had in a stand."