Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in talks over 2026 World Cup job

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in talks over 2026 World Cup job

Ex-Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is one of the names reported to be in the frame to become Canada head coach in time for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Solskjaer has been out of work since leaving Old Trafford in 2021. Using that time to rewatch every game of his United tenure and spend time with his family back home in the small remote town of Kristiansund, he is believed to have turned down the opportunity to take charge of the Norwegian women’s national team in 2023. Links with Bayern Munich also recently emerged.

Now, the Evening Standard reports that the 51-year-old has been contacted by the Canada Soccer Association about the currently vacant job to lead their men’s national team. Solskjaer’s level of interest in the potential opportunity is unclear. He has never previously worked in international football, although with it being less intense that club management it could be attractive.

Both Jose Mourinho and Frank Lampard are said to have turned down approaches, but Jesse Marsch has been contacted and there is interest in Aitor Karanka and Paul Clement. There are even suggestions that courting Clement could be a plot to eventually land Carlo Ancelotti, who has been close with the English coach ever since their time together at Chelsea 15 years ago.

Jose Mourinho has turned Canada down / Eric Alonso/GettyImages

Bobby Smyrniotis, head coach of Canadian Premier League side Forge FC, is another candidate and is already believed to have been interviewed as the best domestic option.

Canada will jointly host the next World Cup with the United States and Mexico, with games at the tournament to be played in Vancouver and Toronto.

In something of a golden era for Canadian soccer, they had qualified for a first World Cup in 36 years in 2022 under the leadership of previous coach John Herdman. But he left the job last year to take his first ever club role as boss of MLS side Toronto FC. Mauro Biello is Canada’s current interim.


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