Man United give Mike Phelan long-term deal to continue as assistant manager

MANCHESTER, England -- Manchester United have appointed Mike Phelan as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's assistant on a long-term deal.

Phelan returned to Old Trafford with Solskjaer in December but the agreement was due to end after Sunday's final game of the season against Cardiff before United moved to tie down the 56-year-old with a three-year contract.

"I am thrilled to be back as assistant manager," Phelan said.

"Manchester United has been a huge part of my life since i joined as a player in 1989 and I am delighted to be able to continue that relationship in this key role.

"Since returning in December, I have enjoyed working with Ole, Michael [Carrick], Kieran [McKenna], Mark [Dempsey] and Emilio [Alvarez] and we are all focused on preparing for the new season."

Phelan, who also worked as Sir Alex Ferguson's No. 2, had been linked with the role of technical director at Old Trafford.

With Phelan out of the running, sources have told ESPN FC that Darren Fletcher and Rio Ferdinand are being considered for jobs within the new structure.

"Mike is a great person to have around and has been invaluable to me since we returned in December," Solskjaer said.

"He brings a wealth of experience to this role with a long established connection to the club.

"We have a good group of coaching staff and we are already working on the challenges that lie ahead of us as we plan for the new season and the future beyond."