Manchester United bosses are prepared to consider Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the permanent manager’s job despite making Mauricio Pochettino their preferred choice.
The Argentine is United’s number one target to take over at Old Trafford from the summer onwards, while Zinedine Zidane, Massimiliano Allegri and Antonio Conte are also on their short list as they target an established manager.
However, Solskjaer has won plenty of admirers in his spell at the club so far, winning his first five matches in all competitions.
And now The Times claim that Solskjaer can earn a place in the discussion over who should take over at United permanently if he excels this season and Pochettino turns them down.
The Tottenham boss is the stand-out candidate having turned Spurs into an established Champions League team on a shoestring budget, while also promoting the club’s youth.
But the other options behind Pochettino are less convincing, for a variety of different reasons, and United would be willing to consider Solskjaer as an option if the side’s strong form under him is more than just a honeymoon period.
The Norwegian will almost certainly need to avoid defeat against Spurs at Wembley on Sunday, when he is presented with his first real test against a top side.
As well as the Premier League, United are also alive in the FA Cup and Champions League, and Solskjaer would likely need both a trophy and top-four finish to seriously force his way into the reckoning.
United are currently six points adrift of the Champions League places, though could close the gap to third-placed Tottenham to just seven points if they can pull off a win at Wembley – something they managed in the FA Cup semi-final last season.