Man Utd ‘hold off’ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer contract talks despite clock running down on deal
Manchester United are reportedly set to wait until the end of the season before opening contract talks with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Red Devils were being touted as Premier League title contenders just over two weeks ago, only for a shock 2-1 home defeat against Sheffield United to knock them off their perch at the end of January.
That slip-up was followed by a stalemate at Arsenal and a pulsating 3-3 draw with Everton, wherein Dominic Calvert-Lewin bagged a 95th-minute equaliser for the Toffees, which has left them five points adrift of leaders Manchester City having played a game more than their neighbours.
As a result, The Sun claim United are putting Solskjaer’s potential contract extension to one side until the campaign draws to a close.
Club officials instead want to maintain focus on their stuttering Premier League title bid and make sure they qualify for next season’s Champions League before handing the Norwegian a new and improved deal.
He only has 16 months remaining on his current contract, which could be extended for another two years if he at least manages to steer United into the top four again this season.
Old Trafford chiefs are prepared to hand Solskjaer an increase in wages that would take his annual salary to almost £6million per year before bonuses.
However, his United side have endured a slight dip in form over the past few weeks, with a 9-0 thrashing of Southampton their only victory in four matches.
City can open up an eight-point gap at the Premier League’s summit by winning their game-in-hand, which would put them in the driving seat to cruise past their arch-rivals on the way to a third title in four years.
It is believed concerns have been raised about Solskjaer in Manchester, having also been dumped out of this season’s Champions League at the very first group-stage hurdle.
He is set to field a strong side in their FA Cup fifth round clash with West Ham on Tuesday night, a tournament which could very well represent his best chance of landing a first trophy.