Mauricio Pochettino open to becoming new full-time Man Utd boss at end of season

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer installed as caretaker boss until the end of the season the Old Trafford hierarchy have time to  debate their long-term options.

SunSport understand the Tottenham Hotspur boss is the No.1 candidate being considered by United, who are willing to shell out the £40million compensation fee required to bring Pochettino to the club.

The Mirror now believe the 46-year-old is interested in the position though several hurdles must be cleared before a deal can be completed.

Asked about the speculation on Tuesday, he ex-Espanyol and Southampton manager said: “In nearly five years at Tottenham, there has been a lot of rumours about my position as manager here.

“What more do I need to say? I cannot answer these questions.

“What happens at another club is not my business. I am so focused to deliver our best job at this club.

“From day one, there have been rumours about the players, the coaching staff and the manager."

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is fearful of losing the Argentine despite him only signing a new contract in north London last summer.

United would be required to pay out the whole Pochettino's deal but the club feel he fills every criteria they're looking for.

In four-and-a-half seasons at Spurs, Pochettino has transformed a side flirting with the top four into one who is a regular at the summit of the Premier League and in the Champions League.

United chiefs are said to be impressed by his use of academy and home-grown players, the style of football he promotes and ability to work with a director of football.

The club are expected to overhaul operations behind the scenes and a director of football position is expected to be created as part of the radical changes.

It remains to be seen whether Real Madrid president Florentino Perez will try again to bring Pochettino to the Bernabeu next summer, despite having recently hired Santiago Solari on a permanent deal, but otherwise United do not expect any other competition.

Solskjaer will steady the ship until the end of the campaign alongside Mike Phelan, who returns to United after spells both as a player and assistant under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Phelan was offloaded by David Moyes upon his appointment in the summer of 2013 but will play a key role in ensuring a tranquil end to an otherwise troublesome campaign.

The pair's tenure starts against Solskjaer's former club Cardiff City in the tea-time kick-off on Saturday, before they host Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day and Bournemouth on December 30.

With Molde expecting Solskjaer to return as their coach at the end of the current Premier League season there appears to be no plan for United to give him a long-term contract in a management role.

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