MANCHESTER United should target former Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager after the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to Gary Neville.

Solskjaer was relieved of his duties after a run of two victories in eight matches, which included a 5-0 defeat to arch-rivals Liverpool and a derby loss to Manchester City, with the final straw the embarrassing 4-1 reverse at Watford on Saturday.

United do not have a succession plan in place and, as a result, first-team coach Michael Carrick has been placed in caretaker charge – his first task is preparing for Tuesday’s crucial Champions League clash away to Villarreal – while the club look to appoint an interim manager to get them to the end of the season.

In delaying their decision to dispense with Solskjaer despite their downward trend, United have missed out on Premier League-winning coach Antonio Conte, who went to Tottenham three weeks ago.

With few obvious candidates presenting themselves there could be a lengthy wait for a longer-term successor and Neville believes the club may turn their attention to former Pochettino, linked to them in the past but now at Paris St Germain.

“They are waiting on Mauricio Pochettino not being successful at another club. If he was to win the Champions League, then PSG wouldn’t let him go,” the former United defender told Sky Sports.

“He’s always been a stand-out candidate and the only name I‘ve mentioned as someone I thought really suited Manchester United in terms of core principles and values and how they play, how he acts and behaves.

“They haven’t planned or prepared for this, it’s deteriorated so badly and so quickly. Michael takes over now, the only option the club had was to put someone in to the end of the season, that’s been obvious for the last few weeks.

“If there was a world-class manager sat on the shelf ready to go two or three weeks ago, I think Ole would have been gone by now.

“People will say, ‘Antonio Conte has gone to Tottenham’. He was never coming to Manchester United. This board were never going to appoint him.

“I don’t think he’d have been a fit for Manchester United and I don’t think there is one at this moment in time, so they have to get someone in temporarily until someone becomes available.”

Pochettino managed Saints between 2013 and 2014, taking charge of 60 games.

He won 23 of his fixtures at the helm of the south coast side, drawing 18 and losing 19.

The Daily Mail have reported Pochettino is ready to quit Paris St Germain and become Manchester United manager.