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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Cardiff expected to appoint Solskjaer

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan is close to naming former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Malky Mackay's replacement, according to widespread reports.

Morris: Mackay exit inevitable

Solskjaer is currently in charge of Molde, where he has won two league titles and Norway’s main cup competition, and has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs in recent years.

Cardiff, who have finally dismissed Mackay after a long period of uncertainty, now appear confident of giving the 40-year-old his first managerial role in England.

Molde press officer Per Lianes told Norway’s Dagbladet newspaper on Friday that there had been no developments over Solskjaer’s position, but Sky Sports News reported on Saturday morning that he is the only man on Cardiff's shortlist and The Guardian also puts Solskjaer as the No.1 target.

The Sun, meanwhile, quotes a source close to Tan as saying: "Solskjaer is the manager Vincent has chosen. It's 90 to 95 percent on the way to being done."

The Daily Mirror also quotes a source as saying it is “95 percent certain” that the former Norway international will take charge, adding: “We are very confident -- and he will be given whatever it takes to keep the club in the Premier League.”

The Sun suggests he will be given 25 million pounds to strengthen the squad next month, with the 3-0 defeat to Southampton on Boxing Day leaving the Bluebirds just one point clear of the relegation zone.

Tan was upset with Mackay and his staff for overspending by 15 million pounds in a summer spending spree that saw the club break its transfer record on three occasions, and the club released a statement warning he would not be given “a single penny” in January when the Scot requested further funds.

Mackay had then been told to quit or be sacked and, although he was granted a stay of execution, Thursday’s defeat brought an end to his reign.

One of Tan's associates told The Sun it was on-field results that ultimately resulted in Mackay losing his job rather than off-field strife.

The associate is quoted as saying: "They've only won four league games, won two of their last 12, and the goal difference is minus 15. The team are one point above the relegation zone and Mr Tan did not go into this to get relegated. It was time for a change."

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