Manchester United admire Mauricio Pochettino alternative 'shaped' by Jose Mourinho

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Manchester United seem to be preparing for life without Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the dugout.

While reports continue to claim that the Old Trafford hierarchy are backing their man for now, you get the feeling that things could quickly change were the Red Devils to lose at the weekend.

Solskjaer's men could plummet to as low as 17th place if they came unstuck at Goodison Park and lest we forget that Jose Mourinho and David Moyes were both axed after defeats on Merseyside.

Solskjaer's job under threat

But regardless of whether Solskjaer turns things around in the Old Trafford hot-seat or not, there have been too many murmurings to ignore claims that United are planning for his departure.

Well, at the very least, they seem to be penciling a road map for life beyond Solskjaer if such a scenario was to transpire - and it seems to orbit around Mauricio Pochettino.

Unless United are playing one big charade with the media, you can feel pretty certain that the former Tottenham Hotspur manager, who was sacked late last year, is their number one target.

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Potential Pochettino alternative

But a top club like United, in spite of their manifold problems in the boardroom, know better than to pin their hopes on one candidate and a lot can change in the beautiful game in a matter of days.

That being said, selecting the next-best coach behind Pochettino isn't an easy task despite names like Massimiliano Allegri and Laurent Blanc being bounded around by supporters and bookies.

However, according to ESPN, United do indeed have a Pochettino alternative on their radar and it comes in the form of RB Leipzig's head coach Julian Nagelsmann.

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Nagelsmann has 'admirers' at United

It's explained that Nagelsmann has 'admirers' at Old Trafford who would argue his case if they engaged in a serious discussion about hiring a new manager.

United chiefs are believed to have been wooed by Nagelsmann's development of young players and brand of football, which are touted as central ideas in the club's blueprint.

The major caveat, however, surrounds Nagelmann's current employment and severing his contract, particularly midway through a season, could prove difficult compared to approaching 'Poch'.

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One of football's most exciting coaches

Nevertheless, the German is currently one of the most exciting managers in world football by way of having thrived in the technical area of a Champions League club before his 35th birthday.

Nagelsmann drew praise from across world football for his performances at 1899 Hoffenheim - a job he took in his twenties - and the step up to Leipzig has hitherto proven a seamless one.

The 33-year-old showed why he's one of the hottest names in management by guiding his side to a Champions League semi-final and they're currently just two points off the Bundesliga summit.

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Shaped by Mourinho and Tuchel

And during an interview with Goal and DAZN, Nagelsmann namedropped Mourinho and Thomas Tuchel as two of his biggest coaching inspirations.

“During his time at Porto, he really shaped me,” he explained. “He let Deco and Co. play exceptionally good football. 

“How he won the UEFA Cup and the Champions League a year later against Monaco with a team that is big in Portugal but not the biggest club in Europe, was very impressive." 

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Potential option for Man Utd

Nagelsmann added: "Who shaped me the most was Thomas Tuchel. For the simple reason that he was my own trainer and the exchange was so much more intense.

"I can rate how he really thinks. But there are certainly great parallels to Pep Guardiola's football idea. Dominance in all phases of the game - that would be the big headline for it."

In terms of emulating Mourinho, United fans will hope Nagelsmann matches the Portuguese's early career as opposed to his time at Old Trafford if he is indeed hired.

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