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Rooney welcomes Solskjaer's Man Utd homecoming as post-Mourinho era begins

17:06 GMT+4 20/12/2018
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 1999
The Red Devils' all-time leading goalscorer is among those to have wished the new man in charge at Old Trafford well as a fresh start is embraced

Wayne Rooney has welcomed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s homecoming at Manchester United, with the Norwegian having been charged with the task of succeeding Jose Mourinho.

He has been handed the reins on an interim basis for now, with the Red Devils’ sole focus at present on salvaging their 2018-19 campaign.

Mourinho has departed with the club sat sixth in the Premier League table, 11 points adrift of the Champions League berths available to those finishing in the top four.

Solskjaer will be looking to bridge that gap over the course of a short-term agreement, with the 45-year-old, who is still tied to a contract at Molde, looking forward to getting started.

He told United’s official website upon his appointment: “Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club.”

Improving performances and fixing divides within a star-studded squad are among the first tasks facing the 1999 Treble winner.

Solskjaer has received plenty of support from United figures of past and present since accepting an SOS call, with the club’s all-time leading goalscorer among them.

While Rooney is wishing Solskjaer “all the best in his new position”, former Red Devils goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is looking for him to deliver “more smiles and better results”.

Elsewhere, Rio Ferdinand, who was an outspoken critic of Mourinho towards the end of his tenure, has welcomed the cleaning of a managerial slate at Old Trafford.

Ex-United striker Andy Cole, who enjoyed considerable success alongside Solskjaer in his playing days, is also looking forward to a fresh start being made under a new regime.

In a quirk of fate, Solskjaer’s first game in charge of United is set to take him back to the scene of his only previous managerial role in Britain – Cardiff City.

The Red Devils will be hoping that he can oversee an immediate reversal in fortune, with there also two games against Huddersfield and Bournemouth to come before the end of the calendar year.