Mourinho was relieved of his duties as United boss on Tuesday morning, adding to the track record of Mourinho in the third season of clubs, and talk immediately moved to his successor.
Manchester United have made their worst start to a league season since 1990-91 and sit sixth in the Premier League.
"It is hard to accept that such issues can not adversely affect the brand and marketability of the club", Spencer Harris, assistant professor of sport management at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, told Reuters.
"To be 100 percent honest, for that round there were only two clubs I didn't "fancy" really", he said.
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The Norwegian is another option, given he knows the club inside out.
They are 11 points adrift of the final Champions League qualifying spot now occupied by fourth-placed Chelsea.
Along the way, Mourinho has taken deserved heat this season for his constant complaining about the quality of United's squad and his overly defensive playing style.
The smiling, charming Mourinho who arrived at Chelsea declaring himself "a special one" 14 years ago, has always been replaced by a surly, haggered-looking operator, dismissive of any and all questioning of his personal responsibility.
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United reached the last 16 in the Champions League , where it will play Paris Saint-Germain over two legs in February and March. Ironically, Man Utd's next Premier League fixture is a trip to the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday evening.
Guardiola and Mourinho clashed six times in Manchester derbies, with City winning three and United prevailing twice.
Mourinho was very unhappy to learn that the pair had broken club rules by filming the Instagram message from one of the Carrington dressing rooms on Saturday.
"The public perception of the situation at Man U at this time is not "one". perception, unfortunately, is everything". You can't ignore what Jose has achieved as a manager previously but I feel the time has come for fresh ideas at #MUFC...!
Both player and manager had glowing things to say about each other at first, but frustration mounted for whatever reason and Mourinho started treating the 2018 World Cup victor like a second-class citizen.
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