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Manchester United continue to say Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be in charge for their upcoming Premier League clash with Watford, despite the situation at Old Trafford deteriorating. And, for many fans of the Red Devils, that’s a blow. However, Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo could yet determine his fate – especially with both players far from happy.
United have lost six of their last 12 matches across all competitions, plunging Solskjaer’s position into jeopardy in the process.
But, while results have worsened, the Glazers still intend to keep the 48-year-old in the role.
Partly, because of the fact they gave him a three-year contract back in the summer.
United did so believing Solskjaer was improving the side and, months later, axing him would be an acknowledgement of their mistake.
Then, secondly, because of the lack of alternatives out there.
Brendan Rodgers and Mauricio Pochettino, the two frontrunners for the role, are both at Leicester and Paris Saint-Germain.
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Manchester United are sticking with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the time being (Image: GETTY)
There’s no indication they’d leave their posts, though, which is why the Glazers are keeping their fingers off the trigger for now.
However, while Solskjaer’s job is currently safe, Fernandes and Ronaldo could see the situation change.
The duo are both leaders at Old Trafford, perhaps even more so than club captain Harry Maguire.
And, as things stand, they’re not happy.
Ronaldo has been left appalled at the state of United since returning, despite scoring nine goals from 13 outings across all competitions.
He feels standards at Old Trafford has slipped and that the club is virtually unrecognisable to the one he left for Real Madrid back in 2009.
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Manchester United gave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a new contract in the summer (Image: GETTY)
And Fernandes feels Solskjaer and his coaching staff lack direction as they look to turn their form around.
Now, the worst case scenario is both players demanding to leave.
That, certainly, can’t be ruled out given the way United are failing to meet expectations – both on and off the field of play.
Ronaldo returned from Juventus because he was genuinely convinced this team were in a better position than the Serie A giants to win trophies.
But if he’s playing in the Europa League next term, it’s hard to see the Portugal international staying around.
Manchester United know Pochettino and Rodgers will be tricky managerial appointments (Image: GETTY)
Then there’s Fernandes’ contractual situation, too.
United are trying to get the Portugal international to sign a new deal with a better salary to show his importance to the side.
But Fernandes is yet to sign and, what’s more, actually came close to demanding a move away from the club earlier in the year.
The Portugal international was ready to hand in a transfer request when the European Super League debacle was raging on, such was his fury at the Glazers.
And he could be even more annoyed should United continue to slide down the table.
Manchester United duo Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo could speed up Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sack (Image: GETTY)
United’s two best players are key to Solskjaer’s future.
And if their tempers rise, and they begin to make their feelings known, the Glazers may have no choice but to perform a u-turn.
Right now, it still looks as though Solskjaer will be given until the end of the season.
That’s what they did with David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, only axing the pair when Champions League football was impossible to achieve.
Yet Ronaldo and Fernandes’ influence may see their stance change.