Manchester United are in talks with Zinedine Zidane over the prospect of becoming their next manager, though his personal preference could save Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s skin, according to a report.
Reports have varied as to what approach Manchester United will take with their managerial position. On-field results have underwhelmed in the current campaign, most notably on the big stage against Liverpool and Manchester City.
That led to rampant speculation United’s hierarchy could pull the trigger and axe the beleaguered Norwegian.
Brendan Rodgers, Erik Ten Hag, and Maurico Pochettino were all linked. However, each of that trio are currently employed elsewhere, making a managerial change costly on two fronts.
The same cannot be said of Zidane. The former Real Madrid boss has been out of work since his second spell with Los Blancos concluded in the summer.
Zidane would represent a high profile appointment having guided Real to three Champions League titles in a row in his first stint at the Bernabeu.
A recent report indicated the chances of the legendary Frenchman taking over at Old Trafford were slim, however. Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano stated talks were not underway, and Zidane was not warm to the idea of taking over mid-season anyway.
Nonetheless, the Manchester Evening News have provided a fresh update on the situation. They cite journalist Pedro Almedia who has remarkably claimed that negotiations have in fact begun between Zidane and United.
“Talks on between Zinedine #Zidane and Manchester United,” he wrote on Instagram.
However, Almedia acknowledged a deal will be difficult to reach given Zidane’s “preference” is to manage on the international stage – presumably with France.
“Attention. The deal is difficult because the French coach’s preference right now is to coach a national team,” concluded Almedia.
Whether further news will emerge of the apparent talks with Zidane, only time will tell. The Express also relayed the journalist’s comments, but more reputable outlets have repeatedly suggested Solskjaer’s position remains safe – for now.
Two lures pulling Zidane to Man Utd
The Express article also carried recent quotes from former France boss Raymond Domenech.
He stated the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford would help smooth Zidane’s transition into the club. Furthermore, he claimed excelling at United would appeal to Zidane as a method of proving those that say he can only succeed at Real wrong.
“What job is he made for when he’s been a multiple Champions League winner with Real Madrid?” he said. “What’s left? [Manchester] City, United, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich? There’s five or six clubs.
“After that, if he takes another club, they’re a step down for him, for someone of his level. There comes a point when you can’t let that possibility slip.
“He’s also got, with Ronaldo, a direct relay, a translator from Spanish to English.
“He’ll also get away from people who say he only achieved what he did because it was Real Madrid because he knew the players and he’ll prove he’s really a top manager. That’s why I tell him: go for it. Or stay in your comfort, but I don’t think that’s his desire.”