Manchester United could be repeating a past mistake with their succession planning following the reported decision to sack struggling boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Red Devils have won just one of their last seven Premier League games under the Norwegian, with humiliating defeats to Liverpool, Manchester City and Watford bringing the curtain down on his reign.
The defeat to the Hornets was particularly chastening, with Claudio Ranieri’s men battling against relegation to the Championship yet still being able to dominate Solskjaer’s side.
United’s hierarchy are understood to have held an emergency meeting regarding their manager’s future following the 4-1 defeat at Vicarage Road.
The Manchester Evening News report that Solskjaer has not survived that meeting as United boss, with the club in the process of deciding on compensation having let him go.
Coming in as caretaker boss is expected to be the club’s current technical director Darren Fletcher, despite the Scot never having taken charge of a senior match as a manger.
Fletcher joined Solskjaer’s coaching staff in January, before moving into his current role in March.
But it is stated that he will now lead the first team as the process of appointing a permanent boss gets underway.
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He is said to have watched the Watford defeat from the United dugout, having traditionally taken in matches from the directors’ box.
No long-term appointment has been lined up, leading to concerns that United could repeat the same mistake they made in handing Solskjaer the job.
The former Cardiff boss was given the manager’s job on a full-time basis following a successful spell as interim boss after Jose Mourinho’s sacking.
While Solskjaer secured top four finishes in both of his full seasons in charge, United have not won a trophy since he replaced Mourinho.
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His reign is now at the end of the line, but United must avoid the temptation of repeating their error by giving Fletcher the permanent job if he enjoys a good start to his time as caretaker.
The Scot is set to be in charge of the Champions League trip to Villarreal on Tuesday and could even remain in the post for the visit to Chelsea next week.
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