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Solskjaer among big contenders to be next Blackburn Rovers manager
10:05am Wednesday 3rd October 2012 in Sport
FORMER Manchester United ace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has emerged as a shock early contender for the Ewood Park hot seat – with Blackburn Rovers ‘flooded’ with applications from ‘big managerial names’.
Solskjaer, manager at Norwegian champions Molde, is understood to have yesterday expressed an interest in the vacant position at Rovers as the race to succeed Steve Kean hots up ahead of this evening’s trip to Nottingham Forest. Former Real Madrid boss Bernd Schuster, ex Swansea manager Paulo Sousa, Motherwell number one Stuart McCall and former England international Terry Butcher are also believed to have thrown their hat into the ring.
Former Rovers star Garry Flitcroft is believed to be keen on being considered, with Alan Shearer and Roy Keane also understood to be willing to discuss the position with owners Venky’s - although neither are understood to have formally applied yet.
Rovers though insist they will not rush the decision and, with assistant Eric Black at the helm for tonight’s City Ground trip and Saturday’s visit of Wolves, won’t start drawing up their shortlist until after the weekend.
Black would also be seriously considered for the full time position as well, if he indicates he wants it, but for the moment his focus in solely on keeping Rovers’ promotion bid on track.
Rovers’ global advisor said: “There are a lot of people out there who are interested in the job.
“After what we have been through as a club you would think people would shy away and be frightened because, up until now, we have only been shrouded in bad publicity. But obviously not and that is very, very pleasing.
“This is a big club, it is always a big club and the indication that this really is an attractive job comes in the number of applicants we have had “We have heard from big names, names that when the CVs have arrived my eyes have widened. You always look for the perfect candidate and we hope we will be able to find that one person.
“This week is about the football, then the process can start. From Monday onwards we will see where we go from here.”
Solskjaer, who scored Manchester United's winner in the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich, has enjoyed a successful start to his managerial career, guiding Molde to their first Norwegian league title last season following a stint as reserve team coach at United.
The 39-year-old, who turned down the opportunity to manage Aston Villa in the summer, has guided Molde to brink of defending their title but, with their season drawing to a close, could be ready for a new challenge.
Rovers are believed to still be interested in speaking to their former Premier League winning skipper Tim Sherwood but it is unlikely Spurs’ technical director will be granted permission to speak.
Meanwhile Singh has insisted he knows nothing about some media reports claiming former boss Kean was considering suing Rovers for constructive dismissal.
He said: “I have not heard anything. Basically it doesn’t concern me, it doesn’t concern the team, it doesn’t concern Eric. We have a job to do and we are focused on that.”