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Manchester United target Spurs boss Pochettino to replace Mourinho: Sources

Manchester United target Spurs boss Pochettino to replace Mourinho: Sources

Manchester United's Jose Mourinho (left) and Tottenham Hotspur's Mauricio Pochettino look on during the English FA Cup semi-final football match between the two clubs at Wembley Stadium in London, on Apr 21, 2018. (Photo: Ben STANSALL/AFP)

LONDON: Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is Manchester United's top target to become the club's next permanent manager following the sacking of Jose Mourinho, sources have told ESPN FC.

United owners the Glazer family and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward called time on Mourinho's two-and-a-half year reign as manager on Tuesday (Dec 18), less than 48 hours after the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool which left the team 19 points behind the Premier League leaders.

READ: Man United's lack of team spirit, Mourinho's negativity explains wide gap to rivals Liverpool

An interim manager will take charge until the end of the season. Sources have told ESPN FC that former United players Laurent Blanc and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are both under consideration - but the club will spend the next six months attempting to prise Pochettino from Tottenham as Mourinho's long-term successor.

The Argentine is currently on an £8.5 million-a-year deal at Spurs which expires in 2023.

But Woodward is a long-standing admirer of the former Southampton boss - he considered him for the United job following Louis Van Gaal's dismissal in May 2016 - and he has identified the 46-year-old as the man to resurrect United after five years of under-performance since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement.

Spurs are likely to fight any United interest on their highly rated coach, who is also a target for Real Madrid.

But sources have told ESPN FC that Pochettino is regarded by United as the outstanding candidate for the job and every effort will be made to recruit him.

This article first appeared in ESPN.com.

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