Antonio Conte is already amongst the leading runners and riders to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager at Manchester United, should the latter be axed.

Solskjaer is under increasing fan pressure at Old Trafford following the Reds' 4-2 defeat to Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon, which extended their winless run in the Premier League to three matches. However, United sources insist his position at the club is not under threat and he has the board's backing.

After a busy summer of transfer activity and big-money spending, featuring the signings of Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo, United, who return to UEFA Champions League action when they welcome Atalanta to Old Trafford on Wednesday evening, were immediately installed as one of the favourites to win the title this season.

However, after a run of four wins in their opening five matches, United have since lost their way, taking just one point from the last nine on offer, meaning the pressure from the fans is mounting on Solskjaer.

United have no plans to sack Solskjaer, but numerous are names are being linked with replacing the Norwegian in the managerial hot-seat, should the time come when United feel they need to make a change.

Among those to be heavily linked with replacing him is former Chelsea and Inter manager Conte, who has been out-of-work since leaving the Italian club back in May. Soon after his departure from Inter, Conte looked set to return to the Premier League and replace Jose Mourinho at Tottenham Hotspur.

However, just as a deal looked set to get over the line, talks broke down, with an agreement failing to be reached over each parties' respective vision to take the club forward.

Following that collapse, Conte opened up on what he would want from his next club, potentially offering an insight into what United would have to do, or offer, to convince him to replace Solskjaer if they wanted him to.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport earlier this year, Conte said: "I look for the projects instead and I am ready to stay at home if something is not convincing me.

"It has to do with vision, honesty and principles. Generally, I like challenges and I’ve accepted many of them during my career.

"Even the top clubs I coached were never the favourites when I arrived.

"However, if there’s something that doesn’t convince me I prefer not to accept, regardless of the money."

Having managed outside of his native Italy for a couple of years, Conte has made no secret of the fact that he would be open to managing abroad again, potentially opening the door for United to lure him to Old Trafford if they wished to.

"I would like to have more experiences abroad," Conte admitted. "I think that I am not someone who is happy with just a comfortable situation. I always chose the most difficult situation instead.

"As a player, I won everything it was possible to win, but I also lost a great deal.

"When you lose, it leaves within you the desire not to experience that again, so you do everything to transmit that to your players when you are a head coach. It all comes from your scars and wanting to avoid getting more."

In his two-year spell at Chelsea, Conte guided the club to both the Premier League title and the FA Cup, proving that he has the know-how of how to win major honours in English football.

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