Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be handed a £2million bonus if he can lead Manchester United into the top four and secure Champions League qualificatioUnited were 11 points adrift when Solskjaer was named interim manager following Jose Mourinho’s sacking last week. But a 5-1 thrashing of Cardiff City, coupled with Chelsea’s surprise home defeat to Leicester, has already reduced the gap down to eight points.
United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward is desperate to see the club secure a top four finish this season. Missing out on the Champions League would be unthinkable for United and cost them more than £40m in lost revenue, prize money and sponsorship clauses. Woodward also knows United have to be competing in club football’s biggest competition in order to stand a realistic chance of landing their summer transfer targets.
United last failed to secure Champions League qualification in 2016 – and it resulted in Louis Van Gaal being sacked. It also hit United hard in the pocket, so Woodward has decided to offer Solskjaer a huge financial incentive to achieve a top four finish. It means the Norwegian could trouser £2million – on top of his wages – for just six months work at Old Trafford. United could win the Champions League this season and face Paris Saint Germain in the last 16, but know finishing in the top four is more realistic.
United host relegation threatened Huddersfield today knowing another win would pile more pressure on those sides above them. Solsjkaer knows if he achieves his main target it will improve his chances of landing the job on a permanent basis. Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino remains United’s No.1 target to replace Jose Mourinho. But Woodward face a tough battle with Spurs when it comes to luring the Argentine to Old Trafford. If Pochettino remains at Spurs and Solskjaer does well in the meantime, Woodward will come under huge pressure from fans to give the job to the popular club legend full time.