Mauricio Pochettino is the perfect fit as Manchester United manager, according to former Ireland captain Kenny Cunningham. 

The Red Devils sacked Jose Mourinho, who took over in the summer of 2016, this morning and are on the lookout for his replacement. 

They confirmed that former player Michael Carrick will take up the role in the interim. 

Pochettino's Tottenham are currently third in the Premier League and the Argentinean has achieved three top-three finishes in the last three seasons. 

"Pochettino ticks all of the boxes," Cunningham told RTÉ Sport.

"He’s a great man-manager, the players love him, good coach, enjoys working with players on the training pitch, improves players, all the players, the younger and the more experienced players.

"He has a good eye for the game, tactically very astute, carries himself very well. In the modern game that is a factor.

"For me he has to be high on the list or favourite. Whether they can prise him out remains to be seen."

The ex-Southampton manger signed a deal with Spurs in May that would extend his tenure until 2023.

Cunningham added that he wasn't surprised that Manchester United pulled the trigger on the former Chelsea and Inter Milan manager, especially in the light of a dire performance in a 3-1 loss to traditional rivals Liverpool on Sunday. 

"The manner of the performance, it was a real struggle," he said. "They really didn’t lay a glove on Liverpool. It was a rear-guard action and Liverpool had it far too easy.

"That wouldn’t help but there was a bigger picture than that. I think their performances and results haven’t been good enough since the start of the season.

"Mourinho had lost the confidence and respect of a number of the players. You factor all those in and in some respects it was a rather easy decision for the board."

Pochettino refused to be drawn on the rumours linking him to the job but sent his best wishes to Mourinho.

"First of all I want to send my best wishes to him. I feel so sorry," he told a press conference to preview Spurs' Carabao Cup tie at Arsenal tomorrow.

"I have a very good relationship with Jose, he is a good friend, it is sad news. It is not my business what has happened in another club. I send my best wishes to Jose.

"After nearly five years there is a lot of rumours about my position as manager at Tottenham.

"I cannot answer this type of question because rumours happen."