Mauricio Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino is in Manchester United's shortlist for a move to Old TraffordGetty Images

Mauricio Pochettino has been earmarked as a possible replacement for Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford should the Red Devils lose patience with the Dutchman following a series of unimpressive performances. The former Barcelona manager has seen his side fall from top of the league table to fifth spot, having gone through eight games without a win in all competitions.

According to The Mirror, the United management are impressed by the Argentine's achievements with Tottenham, who are currently sitting three points clear of the Red Devils. Pochettino's teams are renowned for playing fast, attacking football, which is easy on the eye, while also keeping a good defensive line-up.

In contrast, Van Gaal's men have been criticised all season for making too many passes outside the final third but lacking the cutting edge to break down defences, which has been their Achilles' heel this season. Meanwhile, Laurent Blanc is another manager who is on the shortlist, currently in charge of Paris Saint-Germain, who have all but crowned themselves Champions in the French League for the fourth year in succession.

The Ligue 1 giants are currently 20 points clear at the top, and are looking good to expand their advantage, making it a one horse race going into the second half of the season.

Van Gaal has failed to gain ground among the fans in the aftermath of their exit from the Champions League and failure to keep their position near the top of the table. Losses against newly promoted teams and failure to break down well organised defences have been the cause for major consternation at Old Trafford, who were served yet another unsavoury performance against League One side Sheffield United in the third round of the FA Cup on 9 January.

They have to move fast in registering their interest in Blanc, with the Frenchman set to pen a new long-term contract with the Parisians. Meanwhile, Pochettino is set to lead Spurs to a first Champions League finish since Harry Redknapp led the north London club to Europe in 2011.