Kevin Phillips claims Manchester United may be tempted to sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to avoid missing out on a potential successor to Newcastle.
Solskjaer is yet again under pressure at Old Trafford after a string of unimpressive results and performances.
The Norwegian boss is yet to win a trophy as United boss and there have been calls at various times in his tenure to find a better option to lead the side.
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Newcastle are said to be on the lookout for a replacement for Steve Bruce at St James’ Park following the takeover by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) last week.
Lucien Favre has thrown his hat in the ring and a number of other managers have been linked with the club.
And former Sunderland striker Phillips believes Newcastle’s search “may trigger things in the United boardroom” as they may be concerned the Magpies are about to poach one of the top managers available.
“Every week you step on to the touchline at Manchester United you are under pressure though. It is the nature of the job,” Phillips told Football Insider.
“The results and performances of late have not been good enough. There needs to be an improvement after the international break.
“The new ownership at Newcastle may trigger things in the United boardroom. They might make a decision if they fear Newcastle are going to take one of the top managers out there.”
Meanwhile, Danny Murphy doubts there is a better manager available to save Newcastle from relegation that Bruce.
Murphy said: “You’ve got to be careful not to try and run before you can walk. The situation Newcastle are in now is precarious.
“They’ve got a manager in charge at the moment who has been there and done it in the lower echelons of the Premier League and dealt with that scenario before – even at Newcastle.
“Is there somebody out there who they can bring in who is going to be more equipped than Steve Bruce? That is ultimately the question.
“You can talk about the pleasing of the fans and the masses. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you quickly get Bruce out and get someone in to do it better.
“I think they will get rid because that’s what the fans want and they are trying to keep everybody happy at the moment with the takeover.
“Who do they get in? There is no obvious candidate to come in for a relegation battle. There is a different conversation if you are asking me are there managers out there who are capable of working with new players, spending money and competing.
“Of course there are, there are lots of good managers out there.
“Coming into the Premier League, if you haven’t been in it before coming into a relegation battle and understanding how to win games that aren’t always going to be free flowing or easy on the eye – who’s out there more equipped than Steve Bruce at the moment?
“Nobody jumps out at me.”