Zinedine Zidane to Man United: REJECTS Juve and £13m deal, waiting on Mourinho sack

Posted Saturday, October 06, 2018 by Express.co.uk

Zinedine Zidane to Man United: REJECTS Juve and £13m deal, waiting on Mourinho sack
Zinedine Zidane: Man Utd could replace Jose Mourinho with the manager (Image: GETTY)

MANCHESTER UNITED are in pole position to appoint Zinedine Zidane if they want him, after the Frenchman rejected proposals to work elsewhere.

Manchester United are understood to be open to appointing Zidane if they sack manager Jose Mourinho.

Ex-Real Madrid boss Zidane has been out of work since quitting the Bernabeu last season following a third straight Champions League triumph.

The World Cup winner is open to returning to football and has been mooted as the best option for United if Mourinho is axed.

And it appears as though Zidane is gunning for the Old Trafford job too.

There have been reports over the past few weeks linking Zidane to a director job at his former club Juventus.

But Italian outlet Calciomercato claim he will not take that up.

Instead, Zidane is waiting on United to act - although he is also open to joining another Premier League side if the opportunity arises.

Calciomercato claim Zidane has shied away from a behind-the-scenes job at Juventus because it would add increased pressure on current manager Max Allegri.

Juventus are focusing their efforts on winning the Champions League this season and signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid in the summer specifically for that aim.

And their former icon Zidane reportedly feels his presence would aversely impact on those efforts.

The report adds that Zidane has also rejected a £13.3m annual salary to work in the United Arab Emirates, as he targets more football success in Europe.

He is not overly attracted to the idea of being a director, instead preferring to be on the touchline and in the dressing room.

And Zidane may not have to wait long until an spot opens up for him at Manchester United.

Mourinho is under intense pressure to overturn both results and performances at Old Trafford, with the club currently languishing 10th in the Premier League.

They have already been dumped out of the EFL Cup and laboured to a 0-0 draw against Valencia in midweek.

Mourinho will hope the run of four games without a win is ended on Saturday against Newcastle.

However, were United to lose then the board may feel the upcoming international break is the opportune moment to switch things around.

Asked if he was feeling the pressure heading into the weekend fixture, Mourinho said on Friday: “We know that to improve our position we need to win these three points but we know that our opponent for different reasons also need the points.

“(Benitez is a) very very very good coach, (with) a team that is always very well organised.

“Especially against the teams of the first part of the table where their manager is very bright on his analysis of the opponent’s qualities and to try to stop them.”

Former Arsenal and England defender Martin Keown thinks Mourinho could be sacked this weekend.

"I don’t believe he can — especially if he loses the fans," Keown said, when asked if Mourinho can survive defeat to Newcastle.

"The Manchester United faithful have been incredibly patient with their team. So far, Mourinho has not lost them.

"The players are playing with fear. Is it any wonder their confidence is looking brittle if their manager is ranting for 45 minutes before an important match?

"That could go some way to explaining why United looked devoid of confidence against Valencia.

"As a former player, I would love to pull on my boots and play for Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola.

"With these managers, you feel they are taking every step with their players. They nurture their players and only have their best interests at heart.

"With Mourinho, it feels like the players are on their own. It is like they are always on trial. It must be a lonely road for them at United."

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