Manchester United have been reported to have held talks with representatives of former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho as the Red Devils begin preparations for next season.
Mourinho who was sacked by Chelsea in December is increasingly hopeful of succeeding Louis van Gaal who has struggled to steady the ship at Old Trafford since he took charge of the squad following the dismissal of David Moyes two years ago.
According to the BBC, no agreement has been reached, and the club have made no comment, but negotiations with the Portuguese agent Jorge Mendes is believed to have begun.
Dutchman Van Gaal, 64, is expected to leave United at the end of the season – one year earlier than scheduled.
That would leave the way clear for Mourinho, who is known to be excited by the prospect of taking over at Old Trafford.
The United hierarchy are thought to be keen to respond after Manchester City secured the services of coveted former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola earlier this week.
The arrival of Mourinho would mean a resumption of a rivalry that began in Spain when he was coach of Real Madrid between 2010 and 2013.