Blackburn: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a candidate for manager

By Ben SmithBBC Sport

Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the surprise name among the early candidates to replace Steve Kean as manager of Blackburn.

Representatives of the 39-year-old have expressed an interest in the post, with Tim Sherwood and former Real Madrid boss Bernd Schuster also in the frame.

Solskjaer won the Norwegian league title in his first full season with Molde and his contract expires in 2014.

Sir Alex Ferguson has tipped his former striker as a star in the making.

"If you go to a club in Norway that have never won the league in their history and you win that league, then you have to have something about you," the United manager said last year.

After ending his playing career in 2007, Solskjaer took charge of United's reserve team for two and a half years before guiding Molde to their first Norwegian league title in 100 years in 2011.

Molde are once again top of the table this season, with the final game due to take place on 18 November.

On Wednesday, Solskjær played down his interest in the Blackburn post but stopped short of dismissing completely. "We have gone up this path before and it is only speculation," he said. "It will happen when it happens, that I have to pick up the phone to (Molde owner) Kjell Inge Rokke regarding a job offer.

"But I have not spoken to Blackburn as yet. I cannot say any more about Blackburn now."

Solskjaer would fit the mould of the young, progressive manager favoured by Blackburn but leading figures have yet to settle on a final shortlist.

Sherwood has considerable support among leading figures at Ewood Park but Tottenham are resistant to allowing their technical co-ordinator to walk away from White Hart Lane.

Solskjaer held talks with Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner during the summer following the sacking of Alex McLeish. But the man who earned the nickname of "the baby-faced assassin" opted to remain with Molde because he was reluctant to uproot his wife Silje and three children from Norway.

At the time Molde had qualified for this season's Champions League but defeat by Basel in the third qualifying round ended their hopes of reaching the group stage.

Kean quit on Friday, with his assistant Eric Black taking caretaker charge for the 1-1 draw at Charlton.

Rovers managing director Derek Shaw insists appointing a manager to replace the Scot will be a significant decision in Blackburn's history.

Shaw told BBC Radio Lancashire: "Every managerial appointment is important and there are one or two interested names that have come through already."

But he refused to be drawn on potential suitors, adding: "The phones have been ringing and people have been putting names forward for the vacancy.

"We'll have to discuss that in the next week or two. When there's something proper, everybody will be told."


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