Mauricio Pochettino retains support from senior figures on Manchester United’s board, who are still minded to appoint the South American at the end of the season.

The former Tottenham manager was favourite to replace Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford last year but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s success as interim boss led to the club appointing the Norwegian boss on a three-year deal.

Solskjaer’s win rate has since nosedived and the Red Devils are five points off the Top 4, which was considered a minimum requirement at the start of the campaign.

United maintain they have a long-term plan in place under Ole but the Independent claim some members on the management still want Pochettino in charge.

It’s stated that, though there is support for Ole, many hope a deal with Pochettino can still be reached at the end of the term as the Argentine is viewed as the long-term solution to the club’s problem.

Sir Alex Ferguson is a known admirer of Mauricio and dined with the Argentine while he was Tottenham chief, fuelling speculation that he was being lined up for a switch to Old Trafford.

But the club cannot be seen to be planning for Ole’s departure and the situation differs from previous sackings as the manager has legend status at Old Trafford for his contributions as a player.

Nevertheless, Mauricio’s record with youth and the brand of football his teams play makes him an ideal fit for the Theatre of Dreams and the Argentine is believed to be interested in a return to the Premier League.

The cost of sacking Ole would come in at around £4 million, which is significantly less than previous payouts for the likes of Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal.