Massimiliano Allegri has his eye on the Manchester United job should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Old Trafford reign end in the coming months.
The 52-year-old Italian left Juventus last summer after sealing a fifth consecutive Serie A title and is looking for a fresh challenge.
Sportsmail understands that, since leaving Juve, Allegri has been holding off on an immediate return to management in the hope of eventually taking over at United.
It is believed Arsenal were dissuaded from approaching him last month as they searched for a manager to replace the sacked Unai Emery.
Solskjaer does not feel in danger of the sack, but he admitted that Tuesday’s first-half capitulation in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Manchester City was the worst his side have played all season.
United have just two wins in their last six games.
Allegri has suitors across Europe and is the sort of high-profile candidate United would look to hire should Solskjaer leave.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is also keeping a close watch on developments.
Allegri would likely demand a defined structure at his next club, having previously worked under strong sporting directors.