Solskjaer is expected to agree terms to take charge of United on a permanent basis before the end of this week. Mauricio Pochettino has also been considered by the club’s board, but Solskjaer has suitably impressed key decision maker Ed Woodward. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has impressed since replacing Jose Mourinho on an interim basis, mounting a top-four challenge and knocking Paris Saint-Germain out of the Champions League.
The Norwegian has guided the Red Devils to fifth in the Premier League, ahead of Chelsea, as they prepare for their quarter-final Champions League showdown with Barcelona.
Solskjaer turning United’s fortunes around without requiring any new signings has been noted, in contrast to former boss Mourinho who insisted he needed another centre-back last summer.
That was despite spending over £60million on defenders Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly. Manchester United have made a significant shift in their transfer policy as they prepare to usher in the Solskjaer regime in earnest.
United will be focusing on signing emerging youngsters and developing talent in their mid-twenties in upcoming transfer windows and will only move for older stars in exceptional circumstances.
The north-west club have spent big on ageing players in recent seasons since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
United spent heavily – across transfer fees and wages – to land the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Nemanja Matic, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Sanchez was 29 when United swapped him for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, with the Chilean struggling for form at Old Trafford. Matic was also 29 while Schweinsteiger (30) and Ibrahimovic (34) were even older.
The policy marks a return to the days of Ferguson and former chief executive David Gill during the 2000s and early part of this decade.
Back then United would only pay significant transfer fees for outfield players under the age of 28 – making an exception to their rule to land Robin van Persie from Arsenal (then 29) for £24m in 2015.
United are in the market for another centre-back, a full-back and a forward this summer as well as a midfielder should Ander Herrera leave when his contract expires in four months’ time.
On their shortlist of defenders are Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly (27), Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar (24) and Joachim Andersen of Sampdoria (22).
And United are interest in England pair Jadon Sancho (19) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (18), who are plying their trades as Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea respectively.
The change in approach is set to see United pass on their interest on the likes of Gareth Bale (29), Willian, Toby Alderweireld and Jerome Boateng (all 30).