Following Ole Solskjaer’s last game in charge of the Man United Reserves last night, it was privately announced that Magnus Eikrem had said goodbye to his team-mates and it now seems likely that he will also be leaving United and going to FK Molde.
12 noon on Friday – This news whilst not as gutting as Solskjaer’s loss is a real shame more than anything for those who ever watched Maggy or followed the Reserves. Eikrem was the captain of the second string and evidently one of the more talented players. His eye for a pass and ability to create space for himself meant he ran the show for the team.
Lots of people hoped Eikrem would get a chance in the First Team before long and he made the bench a couple of times in the Carling Cup this year.
His contract was up this summer and so the club had a decision to make – renew and commit to giving him a chance or sell him seemingly to FK Molde. The latter options appears to have been taken. The news he had been sold came from Preben Walle and Erling Ola Fykse – Erling has since deleted his Tweet about the sale. I contacted Jon Martin Henriksen at the Manchester United Supporters Club – Scandinavian Branch to ask about the news and was told:
“Molde could be a good option for Magnus. He has a great relationship with Ole, and he can play first team football on a decent level”
It’s with a heavy heart that he’ll leave us should he go…arguably he’s one of the most talented players to have not played for the first team in recent years. No one can begrudge him a move back to his home-town team though and the opportunity to play first team football under Ole. He recently alluded to the fact that he was aware he was so close to the first team at United but he needed to be playing week-in-week-out now.
Right now it seems likely he will join in January as he said goodbye to all his team-mates after the 5-1 win over Newcastle Reserves last night (goals from Morrison x2, Will Keane x2 and Tunnicliffe) but that has not been confirmed. Neither a fee nor any information about a buy-back-clause/first option agreement have been made public yet either.
3pm – Vegard Fl. Vaagbo, a Norwegian sports journalist has since said:
“I’m told no agreement is reached between clubs. Can’t say how likely a transfer is, but Molde’s interest is well known”
4.30pm – Eikrem was spotted today at Carrington by one of the regular Reserve/Academy followers – @manutdreserves – he was apparently saying goodbye to staff and friends and telling them he’d see them all in February. There is a behind close doors friendly scheduled to take place on 28th February at Carrington between United (probably a reserve team) and FK Molde – it will form part of the Norwegian sides pre-season.
11pm – Another member of www.united.no – the official United site in Norway has been Tweeting this evening about Eikrem. Truls Lian has been saying to a fellow Norwegian:
“There is nothing officially yet, though rumours swirl that he has said goodbye to his teammates in the reserves. I feel sure that the deal will go through. He’s dominating at reserve level, but still hasn’t been given a chance by Fergie. His contract expires in the summer, and he’ll probably not get it renewed. To his teammates, he said: “I’ll see you in February” when FK Molde play the United reserves in a pre-season friendly. He’s definitely good enough for the Premier League but he’s never had an opportunity. For a while Fergie considered him too weak though, but he’s proved he can overcome that. A problem is that the squad is large and there are too many talented players ahead of him – Bebe, Obertan and Gibson for example. His advantage is he can pass a ball through the eye of a needle and how many players like that have come through the Academy in the past five years? His talent is natural but not every football player turns out the way they should”
9am Sunday – An article by respected Norwegian TV channel, TV2 leads with the headline “He is Solskjaer’s first signing for Molde” with a picture of Magnus Eikrem. The article goes on to say that Magnus will sign in January and only “formalities remain”. My Norwegian translation was confirmed to me on Twitter by Ivar Aune.
9am Wednesday 29th – Norwegian media outlets are reporting that Eikrem has confirmed his move. They have a brief text from an interview with Magnus in which he says, “I think that everything is ready. I have agreed to sign with Molde. I expect that it will all be finalised over the next few days”. One example of an article on this story is by NRK and can be read here.
We profiled Eikrem earlier this season and you can read that here.
As soon as there is more information available we’ll update this piece.