Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that he has held talks with Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner over the managerial vacancy at Villa Park.

After flying to Birmingham on Lerner's private jet, Solskjaer held a four-hour meeting with Lerner and agent Jim Solbakken before returning to Norway to prepare for Molde's Norwegian league clash against Sandnes Ulf on Sunday.

Solskjaer is the bookmakers' favourite to replace Alex McLeish, who was sacked by Villa this week after a disappointing season which saw them narrowly avoid relegation.

Molde revealed they had been approached by the Premier League club, and Solskjaer later confirmed he had held informal talks, although he was quick to stress no negotiations were made.

"I can confirm I've spoken with Aston Villa," Solskjaer told Norwegian newspaper Romsdals Budstikke. "There were no negotiations, but an informal initial chat. They also have other candidates they want to talk to.

"I wanted to show respect for one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League by responding to their questions with an initial talk. I am the manager of the MFK and have only had a casual conversation."

Solskjaer spent two-and-a-half years in charge of United's reserve side after an 11-year playing career at Old Trafford before returning to his native Norway to manage former side Molde, guiding them to their first league title in his first season in charge.