Ole Gunnar Solskjaer targets Premier League title bid after Manchester United appointment

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be “a proud man” if he ends Manchester United’s Premier League title drought after finally being appointed as the club’s new permanent manager.

Solskjaer’s impressive caretaker spell at Old Trafford came to an end on Thursday morning upon confirmation of him signing a three-year contract worth approximately £7million-a-year.

The former United striker succeeds Jose Mourinho on a full-time basis, 99 days after leaving Molde in his native Norway in order to take temporary charge at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer has transformed his old club’s fortunes since arriving in December, taking United from 11 points behind the top four to within two of qualifying for next season’s Champions League, but the 46-year-old is aiming higher still.

During his official unveiling at Old Trafford, Solskjaer stressed the importance of United winning their first domestic title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final year in charge in 2013.

“To lift the Premier League trophy again is what we expect, what we’re used to, what we’ve done so many times,” he said, having won six titles as a player under Ferguson.

“We can’t wait too many years but we have to take it step by step. It can’t happen overnight, catching 15, 16 or 17 points.”

United have picked up 32 points from a possible 39 under Solskjaer and he believes this form can be the basis for challenging rivals Manchester City and Liverpool next season.

“We take confidence from our performances and results lately, and it’s been by fine margins, but that’s the league,” he said. “The league is decided by margins.

“If you have the belief, if you have the confidence, if you have the togetherness, if you have the work-rate, attitude, you’ll get those margins.

“That’s when you’ll win games and you’ll suddenly end up challenging for trophies.

“That’s why I said if I can walk out of here, when leaving the club, having won things – of course the Premier League – then I’d be a proud man.

“I’m a happy man, I’m a determined man – the day I walk out of here I hope to be a proud man.”

The Norwegian has been announced as United’s next permanent boss (PA)

Solskjaer’s contract with Molde ended upon his arrival three months ago but United are now looking to forge a relationship with his previous employers.

A goodwill payment of around £500,000 has been made to the Norwegian club and other gestures, such as a friendly match, have been mooted for a later date.

But even though a return to Norway is now officially off the cards, Solskjaer will not allow either himself or his players to take United’s resurgence for granted.

“Players who get complacent never last at this club anyway,” he said. “I’m the same. I can’t be complacent now I’ve got the job. That’s not me. We’re looking forward. We’ve got to work harder. I’ve got some targets. I would want a Man United team that’s one of the hardest-working and fittest teams in the league. That would bring results. I think the players know my expectations for the future.”

Solskjaer did not sign any new players during the January transfer window and Marouane Fellaini was the only high-profile player to depart Old Trafford.

But he will stamp his imprint on the United squad this summer and he hopes the club, who are in the process of appointing a director of football, will settle their business early.

“There have been so many players that have been written about that we’re interested in,” Solskjaer said.

“So many players’ agents have been in touch with our administration about wanting to come here. Hopefully when we’ve decided what we want to do, we’ll get them here.”

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