Man Utd transfer news: Zidane expects to replace Mourinho

French legend is monitoring Old Trafford crisis and could be the man to soothe Pogba

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho refused to single out players after defeat to Brighton
(Image credit: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Zinedine Zidane has told friends that he “expects to be offered the Manchester United job if Jose Mourinho is sacked”.

The Daily Mail says that the Frenchman is monitoring the increasingly tense situation at Old Trafford between Mourinho and the club’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, amid speculation that the Special One could be gone by the end of the month.

The Mail says much will rest on the outcome of United’s match against Tottenham at Old Trafford on Monday night. Defeat to the visitors would lead to the current problems at United “escalating into a full-blown crisis”.

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Pogba and Martial key

United brushed off suggestions at the start of the week that Zidane was being lined up to replace Mourinho. A club official told the Mail: “Why would we discuss him when there is no job available?”

However, says the paper, the reality is that the Old Trafford hierarchy recognise the need for a contingency plan “if Mourinho’s position becomes untenable”.

The United board is thought to be alarmed by the deteriorating relationship between Mourinho and two of the club’s French stars, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial. The arrival of Zidane would almost certainly result in the French players staying at the club.

Zidane targets Premier League

Zidane is keeping abreast of the situation and has “told associates that he would be very interested in managing United”. The 46-year-old World Cup winner left Real Madrid in May, just five days after winning a hat-trick of Champions League titles. After a summer break he’s keen to get back into management and, says the Mail, he has made the Premier League his “first choice”.

Mourinho fury over failed deals

According to the Daily Mirror, Mourinho would have quit “any club other than Manchester United by now”. So frustrated is he by the lack of cooperation from the board that he has told friends he’s come close to leaving. In particular, the failure to sign either Harry Maguire of Leicester or Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld this summer has left him “seething” and he feels increasingly undermined by Woodward.

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