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Phelan to stay on as Solskjaer's assistant at Man Utd

7:00 pm AEST 10/5/19
Mike Phelan Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United 2018-19
The Red Devils boss will have a loyal assistant alongside him again next season, with an agreement reached to retain the services of a familiar figure

Manchester United have confirmed that Mike Phelan will be staying on as assistant to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

A man who previously spent time at Old Trafford as a player and coach during Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign returned to familiar surroundings in December 2018.

Once Solskjaer was brought back to Manchester in an interim role, he needed a trusted right-hand man.

He turned to Phelan, who was happy to combine his duties in the Red Devils dugout with those as a sporting director at A-League outfit the Central Coast Mariners.

Questions were asked as to how long he could remain in two positions, but an agreement has been reached that suits all parties.

That means there will be no change on the touchline for United heading into the 2019-20 campaign, with Phelan now not in the running for the technical director role at Old Trafford.

The 56-year-old said: “I am thrilled to be back as assistant manager.

“Manchester United has been a huge part of my life since I joined as a player in 1989 and I am delighted to be able to continue that relationship in this key role.

“Since returning in December, I have enjoyed working with Ole, Michael [Carrick], Kieran [McKenna], Mark [Dempsey] and Emilio [Alvarez] and we are all focused on preparing for the new season.”

Solskjaer added: “Mike is a great person to have around and has been invaluable to me since we returned in December.

“He brings a wealth of experience to this role along with established connection to the club.

“We have a good group of coaching staff and we are already working on the challenges that lie ahead of us as we plan for the new season and the future beyond.”

News of Phelan’s ongoing presence is most welcome for a club in need of stability and continuity in another era of rebuilding.

The mistakes of the past are still being rectified at Old Trafford, with the hope being that Solskjaer can be the man to return former glories to the club.

He was handed a three-year contract after impressing in a caretaker post and is expected to be given a sizeable transfer budget this summer with which to reshape his squad.

Phelan will be on hand to offer support and assistance throughout that process, with the 56-year-old committed to working alongside Solskjaer for as long as his expertise is required.