Manchester United have reportedly stepped up their pursuit of former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane as they line up Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s replacement.
According to well-known journalist Pedro Almedia, the 49-year-old has entered talks to take charge of the Red Devils, although his preference would be to become an international boss.
He wrote on Instagram: “Talks on between Zinedine #Zidane and Manchester United. Attention. The deal is difficult because the French coach’s preference right now is to coach a national team.”
News that Zidane is believed to be in negotiations with the United hierarchy over his potential appointment will leave large sections of the club’s supporters buzzing with excitement.
After two-and-a-half years of progress under Solskjaer, the 20-time English champions have now stagnated under the Norwegian tactician and are in real danger of regressing if things don’t change.
Embarrassing defeats to fierce rivals Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League have seen them drop down to sixth position in the table and nine points adrift of league leaders Chelsea.
And things haven’t been much better in the cup competitions. A 1-0 loss to West Ham United saw Solskjaer’s charges exit the Carabao Cup in the third round, while Cristiano Ronaldo’s heroics have single-handedly kept them in the Champions League.
It was meant to be the season that the Old Trafford outfit’s transitional period ended and their dreams of another title became a reality, but the opening weeks of 2021/22 have turned into a nightmare.
Just two clean sheets in their 16 fixtures in all competitions this season highlights their defensive woes, while the lack of a natural holding midfielder has once again been brutally exposed on many occasions.
And Solskjaer appears incapable of providing the solutions to United’s mounting woes.
Therefore, Almedia’s latest revelation regarding Zidane – a tactician who masterminded three consecutive Champions League victories during his time at Madrid – will be warmly welcomed by many fans in the red half of Manchester.