Man United have long considered Pochettino a ‘manager-in-waiting’

He is highly thought of by very influential figures at the club, with intense speculation about a potential move for him rising back in January when Solskjaer endured the last crisis of his turbulent reign.

The Norwegian turned the club’s fortunes around then to stem talk of Pochettino replacing him, having previously ended United’s pursuit of the Argentine during an outstanding spell as interim after the sacking of Jose Mourinho.

But on the back of a miserable start to the season – and back-to-back defeats to Arsenal and Basaksehir – the spotlight is squarely on Solskjaer once again.

He’s hardly been helped by Pochettino’s appearance on Monday Night Football, which only served to remind the world of his availability. But Solskjaer has proved resilient in nearly two years since succeeding Mourinho, while there has also been a strong reluctance to show him the door.

Ed Woodward and the Glazers have had opportunities to call time on what was a romantic appointment – not least after a run of only two wins in 11 games at the start of last season.

Five defeats over 10 games between December and January also pushed him close to brink, with sources claiming Pochettino was being forwarded by influential voices.

Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Champions League defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir was ‘a punch in our stomach’

But Solskjaer has proved adept at avoiding rock bottom, just when he’s looked at his most vulnerable.

He will need to do that again, with a difficult trip to Everton coming up at the weekend.

Pochettino has made it clear he is desperate to get back to work – and his words are certain to have reached the corridors of power at Old Trafford.

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