• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Zidane prioritises Man United coaching role amid Bayern interest

Zidane (1)

Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane reportedly shows a preference for managing Manchester United over Bayern Munich, signalling potential major changes under co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s summer revamp.

Current Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag faces speculation about his future due to the team’s disappointing season performance.

Zidane, who has been out of a managerial role since leaving Real Madrid in 2021, is said to be in talks with Bayern as a potential replacement for Thomas Tuchel. However, despite negotiations reportedly being close, Zidane is believed to be more attracted to the managerial position at Old Trafford.

Co-owner Ratcliffe is expected to oversee significant transformations at United during the offseason. With Erik ten Hag’s position under scrutiny, especially given the team’s distant chances of qualifying for the Champions League, the end of the season will likely prompt an evaluation of his tenure.

While there has been improvement in United’s performance since Christmas, they remain unlikely to secure a Champions League spot, currently trailing 13 points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa. Ten Hag’s sole hope for silverware this season rests on winning the FA Cup.

Considering Zidane’s illustrious managerial record, having secured three Champions League titles and two La Liga triumphs with Real Madrid, his name has surfaced as a potential successor to Ten Hag should the Dutchman face dismissal.

Despite previously declining an opportunity to manage United in 2022, citing concerns about the language barrier impacting his ability to achieve success, Zidane has expressed openness to reconsidering offers in the future.

“Would I want to go to Manchester [United]? I understand English, but I’m not completely fluent in it,” Zidane said in a 2022 interview.

“I know that there are coaches who go to clubs without speaking the language, but I work differently. Many elements come into play to win, it is a global context. I know what I need to win.”

“Never say never, especially when you are a coach today,” Zidane added. “When I was a player, I had the choice, almost all the clubs. Coach, there aren’t fifty clubs I can go to. If I go to a club, it is to win. I say this with all modesty. That’s why I can’t go anywhere.”

Given Zidane’s three Champions League and two La Liga triumphs with Real, the Frenchman’s name has naturally emerged as a possible candidate to replace Ten Hag should the axe fall on the Dutchman.