Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that he has planned to be a football manager his entire life after turning Manchester United's season around as interim boss at Old Trafford.

The Norwegian has masterminded a remarkable rejuvenation of a United side which had been on a collision course under Jose Mourinho earlier in the season, most recently leading the Red Devils to an unprecedented comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

Solskjaer is now the favourite to be installed as United's permanent boss, having become every bit as popular as a manager as he was a player at Old Trafford. As quoted by the Telegraph, Solskjaer said of his future: "I think I have prepared all my life for this [management].

"Ever since I was a kid, when I played computer games, I wrote out all the teams with my mates. They were good old times when I used to sign Zico, Maradona and Marco van Basten.

"I think I have secretly always wanted to do the job I am doing now. I probably believe more that I can be a football coach than a football player. It took me quite a few years to get to the level I wanted to be at as a player."

United are in the midst of an intense battle to finish in the top four in the Premier League. The Red Devils are currently fourth but just one point clear of Arsenal ahead of Sunday's meeting between the two old rivals at the Emirates.

"There has been and there definitely is a gap at the top of the Premier League now," Solskjaer added. "There is a top two and then we're in the next four.

"We've got to close that gap. I don't know how many points we are behind them because I don't look at that. But we have to do things step by step because you can't close it in one big gulp. We've got to keep looking at it.

"There's absolutely no reason why Manchester United shouldn't be the hardest-working team in the league. The things I always demand from the players are work rate, and attitude and fitness. 

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"So we need to keep working on the fitness and next season, the players know they will be asked if they want to challenge the top. That's what you see from the top teams in the league, they run more than us. And that's not acceptable really."