Manchester United’s hierarchy were leaning towards replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Saturday night, although the final decision will be taken by Joel Glazer.
Club executives convened after one of the worst displays of the Norwegian’s time so far, a dismal 4-1 defeat at Watford.
The consensus was that the nature of the performance was unacceptable, and Solskjaer now fears he will not be in charge for the crucial Champions League game away to Villarreal on Tuesday.
The Independent has been told the 48-year-old was aware he was under renewed pressure ahead of the Watford game, as the United executives have been growing increasingly concerned about the mood of the players.
Most have long felt a change was required. Particular attention has also been paid to Cristiano Ronaldo’s feelings, and he has been increasingly anguished by the nature of displays.
Similar applies to Bruno Fernandes, who very publicly defended Solskjaer on the pitch following the 4-1 loss to Watford.
If it is confirmed Solskjaer is sacked, then Darren Fletcher is likely to step in as interim manager, with trips to Villarreal on Tuesday and Chelsea next Sunday.
Outgoing executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is said to be interested in Zinedine Zidane as a potential replacement but that is seen as almost impossible, with the French legend still cool on the idea of taking over at Old Trafford.
If that proves to be the case, United may instead accelerate plans to try and get Erik ten Hag from Ajax. Brendan Rodgers was not considered as a top target in the last few weeks, although circumstances may see events change. United have been impressed with his work at Leicester City and Celtic but he has always been seen as below other options.
The idea had been to try and wait on any major decision until the summer, but events may now have taken on a life of their own.
Many felt a landmark moment was Solskjaer being booed by United’s travelling support at Vicarage Road after the game.