Manchester United have reportedly spoken to former Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde about becoming their interim manager.
United are on the hunt for a replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was sacked following the 4-1 defeat to Watford on Saturday.
Mauricio Pochettino has been strongly linked with the role, but he said on Tuesday that he is “happy” at Paris Saint-Germain, where he is under contract until 2023.
The Guardian report that Valverde has already held discussions with United’s football director John Murtough regarding taking over on a temporary basis and has even started to sound out players that he could sign in January if he was appointed.
Valverde has been out of work since being sacked by Barcelona in January 2020.
He spent two-and-a-half years at the club, winning La Liga twice and also the Copa del Rey. Before joining Barca he was in charge of Athletic Bilbao for four years, and he has also managed Valencia, Villarreal, Espanyol and Olympiacos.
He is reportedly one of five candidates on the list for the interim role, but United will abandon that strategy if they can get Pochettino from PSG now.
The BBC add that securing the services of Pochettino mid-season is not as straightforward as has been suggested.
Michael Carrick was in caretaker charge as Man Utd booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a 2-0 win over Villarreal.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho scored late goals to secure the win for the visitors.
Asked earlier this year about the potential of working in England, Valverde told the Observer: “I wouldn’t mind trying it. You get the feeling that there’s a respect there for what the game is.”