Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is firmly established as a Manchester United legend but things could have been oh-so different had the striker decided to join Wolverhampton Wanderers or Liverpool instead.
The hero of that Champions League title triumph of 1999, and the current boss at Old Trafford, will forever go down as one of the best bargain signings in United’s history.
It is fair to say Solskjaer was far from a household name when he arrived in the North West from Molde for just £1.5 million back in 1996.
Even United fans, who were dreaming of a world-record deal for Alan Shearer, were left wondering about the identity of this baby-faced goal-scorer from Norway.
But maybe Solskjaer wasn’t the total unknown history would have you believe. Speaking to the UTD Podcast, the now 47-year-old has admitted that at least two other English clubs were offering him a big break on British shores.
“I did well for Norway one game when (United coach) Jim Ryan was watching Ronnie Johnsen," Solskjaer explains.
“I scored two decent goals. Mark McGhee was sat next to him. So Jim Ryan asked Mark McGhee: 'What are you looking for?' He needed a forward, because he was manager at Wolverhampton at the time.
“So after I scored those two goals – and with Mark McGhee next to him [and] looking for a striker – Jimmy rang the gaffer straight away: 'I've found someone, we need to be quick. I think someone else might be interested in him.' And that was it."
“Were Liverpool and Bayern Munich in for me? Yes, [and] Cagliari, PSV and a couple of other teams. But I wouldn't change the history. There was only one choice. It was fantastic when the call came.”
Solskjaer would go on to score 126 goals in the iconic shirt of Manchester United, winning six Premier League titles and two FA Cups.
With United looking forward again after years of malaise in the post Sir Alex Ferguson era, the returning hero is now desperate to bring success back to Old Trafford from his new position in the dugout.
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