BBC Sport journalist has ruled out three names for the Man United caretaker position

Jose Mourinho has been sacked as Manchester United boss.

Jose Mourinho has been sacked by Manchester United.

It's news that is both shocking and completely predictable - many thought the fact that this season already looks like a write-off, combined with the supposed £24m pay-out, would be enough to see the club hold off.

Instead, Mourinho is gone in his third season, once again.

Yesterday marked three years since Chelsea sacked him in his second spell and the parallels are certainly there.

It seems quite unthinkable that this is the side that pushed Manchester City closest last season as runners-up, finishing quite comfortably above Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool.

But now they sit nineteen points from Liverpool who well and truly showed just how far they have surpassed United with their 3-1 win on Sunday.

It has proven the breaking point for the higher-ups at United, who have announced that they will appoint a caretaker to oversee the rest of the season.

There has been a lot of speculation over who that could be but BBC Sport reporter Simon Stone has immediately ruled out three of the favourites.

Mourinho's loss to Liverpool proved to be his final game with United.

"Man United caretaker WONT be [Nicky] Butt, [Michael] Carrick or [Arsene] Wenger," he wrote. "Will be external. Carrick and McKenna to take training.

"Decision had to be taken in best interests of club it was felt."

Seeing Wenger's name on there is certainly strange but there was some genuine talk that the legendary Arsenal boss could get the gig.

Butt and Carrick seemed like natural choices, although United will go in an external direction.

Arsene Wenger emerged as a surprise contender for the role.

That seems like a somewhat strange direction to take but does suggest that the club want an experienced hand to potentially bring a trophy home this season.

It's the same strategy that Chelsea took when appointing Gus Hiddink in both 2009 and 2015 to oversee the caretaker role - and he delivered the FA Cup in 2009.

Whatever the case, the next few months should be very interesting at Old Trafford.

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