Man Utd stars save Solskjaer from sack despite club chiefs wanting Pochettino

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been spared the sack, for now, thanks to the intervention of his senior Manchester United stars.

But Solskjaer is still living on borrowed time as he battles to save his job in the wake of last weekend's humiliating home defeat to bitter rivals Liverpool.

And Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino has got growing influential support from within the United hierarchy as Solskjaer clings on by his fingertips.

It's understood senior figures at Old Trafford canvassed the opinion of the squad in terms of how Solskjaer is viewed in the dressing room.

And the Norwegian was granted a stay of execution when it became clear he still remains popular, with most players insisting they are still behind him, despite recent results suggesting otherwise.

Club chiefs took the same approach before deciding to sack David Moyes in 2013 and then Jose Mourinho in 2018.

Part of the problem facing United's owners the Glazers and executive vice chairman Ed Woodward is that there is no outstanding candidate available to replace Solskjaer – and those who call the shots had not planned to change managers this season.

Is Mauricio Pochettino the manager Manchester United need now? Let us know in the comments section.

To make matters worse, sacking Solskjaer would be a huge admission of defeat, just a few months after handing him a new £20m contract and providing him with the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho at a cost of almost £140m.

Club insiders admit that while the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool was "brutal", there is no sense of immediate panic from those who believe sacking Solskjaer would have to be the last resort.

The board want to buy themselves some more time to work out their next move and could decide to stick with Solskjaer until the next international break, provided he avoids more humiliating results.

Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte remains the bookies favourite to replace Solskjaer and has expressed an interest in taking the job, while Zinedine Zidane is also available.

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But Zidane is not the hands on coach United need, while appointing Conte would represent a huge U-turn in terms of the club's cultural shift since Solskjaer replaced Mourinho, with the Italian not regarded as the long-term solution.

Pochettino would be United's first choice and is hugely admired by Sir Alex Ferguson and Woodward, but the fallen giants know it would be expensive and complicated when it comes to prizing him out of PSG.

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