By Wayne Veysey

10th Dec, 2016 | 8:01pm

Tottenham senior figure on three-man Manchester United shortlist - report

By Harry Sykes

Mauricio Pochettino was on a three-man shortlist to replace Louis van Gaal as Manchester United manager, according to a report.

ESPN FC claim the Tottenham boss was in the running to take a seat in the Old Trafford dugout prior to Joe Mourinho’s appointment in May.

It is said that the Portugese’s rivals for the post were Pochettino and Van Gaal’s assistant and United legend Ryan Giggs.

Van Gaal was sacked at the end of last season by the Premier League giants with a year remaining on his contract even though he had just steered the club to the FA Cup.

ESPN report that Mourinho’s achievements as a manager at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid convinced the Old Trafford hierarchy to make him the first choice for the hotseat.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

It is said that Pochettino did not hold talks with United even though he was pictured having a lunch date in Mayfair in May with club director and their greatest ever manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Tottenham manager takes his team to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon for an eagerly anticipated Premier League showdown.

Spurs are fifth in the league going into the match with a tally of 27 points, while United are sixth with just 21 points, 13 adrift of new leaders Arsenal.

In other Tottenham news, the club have confirmed they are closing in on a major January signing.