Manchester United board discussed appointing Ryan Giggs instead of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
The Welshman took interim charge when David Moyes was sacked in 2014 and served as Louis van Gaals assistant for two years until 2016.
Giggs was being groomed for the job but he left the Theatre of Dreams when Mourinho took charge and has since taken his first role in management with the Welsh national team.
Uniteds board wanted a figure that knew the club and could restore some positivity after Mourinho dented the squads atmosphere during his final months in the north-west.
The Norwegian has won all four of his first four fixtures as United caretaker boss and the club will consider appointing him on a permanent basis if they cant land first choice Mauricio Pochettino.
Solskjaer is desperate to stay at Old Trafford and the 45-year-old has the backing of former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
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The Scot was at Uniteds Carrington training ground on Saturday and spoke to the squad as a whole, before talking to some members individually.
He reminded them about their duties as a United player and their responsibility to represent the club and its values.
Solskjaers expected to make a number of changes as United host Reading at Old Trafford in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku are both expected to start but Paul Pogba is set to miss out after he sustained a slight injury in Wednesdays 2-0 win against Newcastle.