The Old Trafford hierarchy sacked Mourinho in the aftermath of Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Anfield that left the 20-times champions an embarrassing 19 points behind league leaders Liverpool after just 17 matches.
Former United striker Solskjaer, the current manager of Norwegian side Molde, will take charge of the first team with immediate effect and will remain in place as caretaker manager while the club looks for a new full-time boss.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane are among the bookmakers’ favourites to take the United job on a full-time basis at the end of the season.
Mourinho was axed on Tuesday after just two-and-half years in charge at Old Trafford, with United in sixth place in the Premier League and facing an uphill task to qualify for next year’s Champions League
Alex Ferguson’s former right-hand man Mike Phelan will join the 45-year-old Solskjaer as first-team coach, working alongside Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna.
“Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role,” said the Norwegian. “I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club,”
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: “Ole is a club legend with huge experience, both on the pitch and in coaching roles.
“His history at Manchester United means he lives and breathes the culture here and everyone at the club is delighted to have him and Mike Phelan back. We are confident they will unite the players and the fans as we head into the second half of the season.”