Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have up to £50million to spend to try to salvage Manchester United’s bid for a top-four place.
Solskjaer takes his first training session as United caretaker boss on Thursday following Jose Mourinho’s sacking after two-and-a-half years in charge.
The Norwegian, a hero at Old Trafford from his days as a player for the club, said: “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,”
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who dismissed Mourinho in a face-to-face meeting on Tuesday morning, is ready to make the cash available to Solskjaer in next month’s transfer window — if the right players are can be signed.
Woodward recognises the need to bolster the squad in January if the Reds – currently 11 points adrift of the top four in sixth – are to have any chance of finishing in the Champions League places.
A central defender and a right-sided midfielder remain the priority positions to address, with Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld potentially available for around £30m next month to fill the first of those needs.
Other defensive targets include Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, although his £90m valuation would put him out of reach next month, and Porto’s rising star Eder Militao.
Brazilian winger Douglas Costa, currently out of favour at Juventus, could provide a solution on the right flank.
Solskjaer, who will have an input on any players who arrive next month, landed in Manchester by private jet on Wednesday night.
He will start work at United’s AON Training Complex in the morning, meeting the squad for the first time and setting out his aims for the rest of the season.
The 45-year-old, effectively on loan from his job as manager of Norwegian side Molde, will oversee training with Mike Phelan, Sir Alex Ferguson’s former No.2. Phelan has also returned to the club on a temporary basis from Australia’s Central Coast Mariners to try to help haul them out of their current crisis.