Zinedine Zidane has told friends he wants to replace Jose Mourinho as Manchester United manager, according to reports on Friday.
The Frenchman quit as Real Madrid manager at the end of last season after becoming the first coach to lead a side to three successive Champions League trophies; his place in the Bernabeu hotseat taken by former Spain boss Julen Lopentegui.
And it now seems Zidane has already set his sights on his next venture, with a report in the Daily Mail claiming he has told friends he expects to be the club’s No 1 choice to replace Mourinho were the Portuguese coach to to leave Old Trafford.
The United boss looks to be a man on the brink, with reports on Thursday suggesting the club were growing ‘increasingly concerned’ the Portuguese coach was set for massive meltdown, while on Friday it was suggested he would have ‘quit already’ had it been any other club but United.
While United are said to be still behind the Mourinho regime, they can ill-afford too many poor performances such as the one that saw them suffer a 3-2 defeat at Brighton – and one player has already labelled Monday’s home clash with Tottenham as a “must-win game”.
However, the Mail claims the United board have met to discuss potential successors to the Portuguese coach – and Zidane’s name is reportedly right at the very top.
It’s been suggested Zidane would also consider coaching at former club Juventus, but with Max Allegri a fixture in Turin, it seems United looks a more realistic opportunity for the Frenchman.
And the report claims Zidane has told his closest allies the Old Trafford hotseat would very much interest him and that he ‘expects it to become available’ at ‘some point during this season’.
“Why would we discuss him when there is no job available?” a senior source at United told the paper when asked about the speculation surrounding Zidane.
However, with Mourinho said to be becoming increasingly disillusioned with life at Old Trafford, the club would be folly not to have at least considered potential successors.
Former United midfielder Paul Ince insists it is no shock to see Mourinho struggling and believes the club has become a “laughing stock” at present.
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