Solskjaer knocks back Aston Villa as former Manchester United star stays with Molde
12:52 GMT, 19 May 2012
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has ruled himself out of the running for the Aston Villa job.
The former Manchester United forward said he intends to stand by the remaining two years on his contract at current club Molde, having held talks with managerless Villa on Friday.
The Norwegian faced the media on Saturday morning to clarify his position after flying to Birmingham.
Wanted: Solskjaer held talks about replacing Alex McLeish at Aston Villa
'I have not had any offers,' Solskjaer told a press conference. 'I'm not looking for another job.
'In football, and in life in general, things turn up that you have to make decisions about. I have a contract for two more years and I'll stand by that.'
Solskjaer returned to Norway to learn that Molde's billionaire backer Kjell Inge Rokke had pulled the plug on his company's 20-year support, which included building the club a new stadium in the late 1990s, as a result of the Villa talks.
Solskjaer and wife Silje were collected from their home town of Kristiansund before flying to Birmingham for a four-hour meeting that also included his agent Jim Solbakken.
The 39-year-old suggested afterwards the talks had been nothing more than an 'initial, informal chat' but the trip appears to have upset Rokke, who is the chairman and a major shareholder in industrial investment firm Aker.
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Rokke said on Friday night Solskjaer had been asked to answer questions about his plans before holding talks with Villa, but had not provided answers.
And the Molde coach attempted to clarify what had happened, as well as play down his meeting with Villa.
'We strive for personal development and players who do well get requests all the time,' Solskjaer said.
'I was asked by a friend whether I was interested in speaking with Villa. I called Kjell Inge straight away. We agreed that I could speak to them on Wednesday, that it was okay.
'I don't feel that I have lost anyone's confidence. I had a good chat with Molde this morning where we agreed that we should look forward. We have some challenges we need to tackle.
'I will also speak to Kjell Inge as I must apologise for the way this came out.
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'Roberto Martinez has been given permission to speak to Liverpool, who are a fantastic big club and you know he has ambitions – not a problem.
'The communication could have been better and clearer, we see that with hindsight. But now we are where we are, it's obvious that we have to work together.
'The players are used to speculation about me. What is new is we have lost the backing from Aker ASA, which I understand has been discussed at length.
'Whether it's coincidence or not, it's happened now, we'll get answers. I received a text from Rokke today and we'll discuss it with each other soon.'
Rokke released a statement last night to newspaper Romsdals Budstikke criticising Solskjaer's decision to fly to England.
'This is perceived as incompatible with the MFK [Molde football club] community that we are both a part of,' said the businessman.
'Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not hidden the fact that one day he could go back to England. Nevertheless, Aker is surprised that he dropped Friday's training, and headed to England in public for informal talks with Aston Villa before three major league games in a week.'
In the frame: Roberto Martinez has also been linked with Aston Villa
Molde director Tarje Nordstrand Jacobsen admitted things had got out of hand.
'It's important for us to stress that there was a request Ole Gunnar put to me on Wednesday, from Aston Villa who wanted to speak to him,' said Nordstrand.
'We had a short conversation about it and it was decided that Ole Gunnar would fly over on Friday and speak to them, but that it would be done as quietly as possible.
'On May 17 we felt we no longer had control over the situation, when we learned through the media that the plane had been spotted in Kristiansund.
'I then made it clear to Ole Gunnar that, if things had become public, we didn't want him to go.'
Villa are looking for a successor to Alex McLeish, who was sacked on Monday after a poor season for the midlands club.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez and Norwich boss Paul Lambert have also been linked with the vacancy.