Manchester United interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now in 'pole position' to land the job on a permanent basis, reports say, following the Norwegian's outstanding start in the dugout at Old Trafford.
In addition to Solskjaer's impressive run as temporary manager (10 matches played, nine wins, one draw) providing a strong case for the former United striker, it's thought that the Red Devils' hierarchy are fearful of getting their preferred targets - thus putting Solskjaer as the leading candidate for the job.
The Mirror suggest that United's executives are growing increasingly pessimistic about the possibility of snaring Mauricio Pochettino from Tottenham, with the Argentinian conveying mixed messages after pledging his loyalty to Spurs, whilst simultaneously stating his desire to compete for silverware on a regular basis.
The fact that Tottenham are currently third in the table and progressing in the Champions League, not to mention the Lilywhites moving into their new stadium, means that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy would be hard-pressed to release Pochettino from his contract - especially if it meant he would go to a league rival in United.
The other candidates the club have been considering all come with question marks too.
Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane's inability to speak English fluently is thought to be a major stumbling block, whilst United are wary of installing another disciplinarian in former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte so soon after sacking Jose Mourinho.
Furthermore, United's squad clearly appear to be enjoying their football under Solskjaer, who, with every passing game, is proving that his lack of experience as manager might not matter as the Red Devils are yet to lose a game under his watch.
Old Trafford's hierarchy are understandably taking their time on such an important decision, though an £8m fee has already been agreed between United and his club Molde (where he was under contract as manager) should he get the Old Trafford job permanently.
And, if Solskjaer is able to navigate the Red Devils past Paris Saint-Germain into the last 16 of the Champions League, as well as finish in the top four of the Premier League (something that seemed impossible just a few months ago), United's top brass may decide that he's done enough to win the job outright.
Source : 90min