Manchester United are in discussions to bring in Ralf Rangnick as interim manager, the PA news agency understands.
The Premier Legaue club have identified the German, who is currently the director of sports and development at Lokomotiv Moscow, as a potential short-term successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United sacked Solskjaer last weekend after a poor run of results culminating in Saturday’s 4-1 thrashing at Watford.
Coach Michael Carrick took charge for Tuesday’s Champions League game at Villarreal but the club want to bring in a more experienced figure until the end of the season. They then intend to make a permanent appointment in the summer.
A deal has not yet been finalised with Rangnick. Both the 63-year-old and United are respectful of Lokomotiv and want to proceed in an orderly manner.
Rangnick has a strong reputation in the modern game and his style has influenced the likes of Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, managers at Liverpool and Chelsea respectively.
He was also a key figure in the rise of Leipzig through the German lower divisions to the Champions League in the role of sporting director for the club and its Red Bull sister outfit Salzburg.
He left Red Bull last year and took up his position at Russian side Lokomotiv this summer.
He has been linked with Premier League clubs in the recent past, including Everton and Newcastle.
United will hope Rangnick can steady the ship at Old Trafford before making a long-term appointment. Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, currently in charge at Paris St Germain, is one of the favourites for the post.
Carrick, who seems set to take charge against Chelsea on Sunday, told Sky Sports: “My future is this next two or three days. That’s as far as I am prepared to look.
“That’s the right way to go about it. Football is that kind of business that you never know what is round the corner at the best of times.
“All my energy and my mind at the moment is on Sunday. I control what I can control. Everything else is not for me to worry about and get involved with because I need to win a game of football and that is what I am looking forward to doing.”
Asked if he was given any guidance on the length of his role by the club, Carrick added: “I didn’t have to ask too many questions, it happened very quickly and this is my role for now and however long it may be. I am focused on the next few days and whatever goes on after that will go on after that.
“We need to be stable and together which we showed (against Villarreal). We have got a game behind us now so it’s very different talking now than it was Sunday afternoon when everything was quite fresh.
“Hopefully I have already given them (the players) to an extent what we need and made them aware of what we expect. I expect the players to give their best and try their best. I say the same to my children.
“It is not about how much I want to do this or how long, it is what is asked of me really. At the moment I am enjoying it for what it is and I understand what it is.
“I am literally looking at this next game. It is such a big challenge and such a big game to be involved in. Whatever happens after that we will have to wait and see.”