Activist hedge fund manager William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management said on Tuesday it will nominate five candidates, including Ackman himself, to discount retailer Target Corp's board.

The decision to nominate the five candidates at Target's shareholder meeting came after Target's board members declined to invite them to join the board, Pershing said.

Ackman has pressed for major changes at Target for months. His push for a seat on the board comes after already prodding the retailer to sell its credit-card operations and spin off the land under its stores to boost its stock.

In addition to Ackman, Pershing will nominate Michael Ashner, chairman and chief executive of Winthrop Realty Trust; Jim Donald, former CEO of Starbucks Corp ; Ronald Gilson, professor at Stanford Law School and Columbia Law School, and Richard Vague, former CEO of First USA, Juniper Financial and Barclays Bank Delaware.

If elected, we believe they will substantially improve Target's ability to navigate through the current economic environment while increasing shareholder value over the long term, Ackman said in a statement.

(Reporting by Aarthi Sivaraman; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Maureen Bavdek)