Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Next Man Utd manager: Zidane claims give Ratcliffe major lift as Ten Hag sack talk rises dramatically

Zinedine Zidane could replace Erik ten Hag as Manchester United manager

Zinedine Zidane could replace Erik ten Hag at Manchester United

Manchester United are reportedly nearing a decision on axing Erik ten Hag as manager at the end of the season amid a bold new claim that suggests Zinedine Zidane is lined up his successor with the iconic Frenchman snubbing a top job elsewhere.

Dutch coach Ten Hag has struggled to get a consistent tune out of his Manchester United squad during his second season at the helm, though can help the club reach a second successive FA Cup final if they get the better of Championship side Coventry at Wembley on Sunday. Nonetheless, even if he delivers success in that competition – and remember that was not enough to savge Louis van Gaal back in 2016 – Ten Hag will likely be judged on other factors first and foremost.

First up, United’s embarrassing crash and burn effort in the Champions League this season did not go unnoticed, with the club losing four of six Group A games to finish bottom and also suffer the ignominy of conceding 16 goals in that process – the worst goals against tally they have ever suffered in the competition.

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Furthermore, a failure to return to the competition – spare a late Premier League miracle – will also be a decisive factor. As it stands, United are currently sat seventh in the Premier League – some 13 points shy of Aston Villa in the fourth and final spot.

In addition, the 50 points United currently have means that, if they do not pick up eight points from their remaining six games, they will have suffered their lowest ever points toally of the Premier League era.

All in all, it’s not making good reading for Ten Hag and giving Sir Jim Ratcliffe further licence to boot him out.

Zinedine Zidane snubs top Euro job for Man Utd

Per reports, Ratcliffe will decide on Ten Hag’s fate once the current season comes to an end.

However, we exclusively reported the news first that many at United already feel the Dutchman is a deadman walking. And while multiple national tablois have followed suit with copycat articles in the days that followed, those claims have heightened in recent days in the wake of some recent poor performances that has seen a record number of chances conceded in games against both Chelsea and Liverpool.

And while the Liverpool draw perhaps salvaged some pride, their alarming injury-time collapse at Stamford Bridge left serious question marks over both his tactical approach and his ability to get the best from his players.

Now with the axe hovering, Ratcliffe and Co have been given a huge lift in their quest to appoint legendary Frenchman Zidane as his successor.

The former Real Madrid coach has let it be known he is willing to return to management this summer after a three-year sabbatical with several elite European sides since linked with an approach.

And while reports in Germany of late have suggested Bayern Munich are right at the front of that chasing pack, a major new update has given United hope of landing the 51-year-old themselves.

That’s because, according to multiple reports this weekend, Zidane has made clear he intends to snub the dethroned Bundesliga champions and wait instead for the Manchester United vacancy.

Iconic Frenchman tipped to become next Man Utd manager

And per those reports, Zidane has now made it clear to those closest to him that he is willing to take on the Red Devils’ reigns this summer if the opportunity arises.

The likes of Gareth Southgate, Graham Potter and Roberto De Zerbi have all been heavily linked with the United job in recent weeks. However, Ratcliffe’s first choice – and one endorsed by recently-appointed director Jean-Claude Blanc – has always been Zidane.

And while he was previously taken out of the running owing to a belief he would not manage in England, his reported change of heart has given United a new major belief they can land the World Cup winner this summer.

Zidane’s managerial career is defined by an incredible 70.47% win percentage record during his first spell at the Bernabeu helm, where he helped Real Madrid win the Champions League three times in succession through 2016 to 2018.

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