Manchester United plan Zidane, Ronaldo reunion
Manchester United are working to persuade former Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane to succeed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the Premier League club’s manager after a series of debilitating results and performances under the Norwegian.
Although Zidane — a winner of three Champions League and two La Liga titles as a coach — is understood to be unsure whether the opportunity presented by United is the right one to take at this point in time, United’s hierarchy are hopeful that the Frenchman’s close relationships with their key summer signings Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane can help to convince him to join.
Ronaldo has already made it clear on Zidane, who took up the reins in Real in 2016. Ronaldo had gone to Bernabeu from Old Trafford in the summer of 2009. Both share a very good rapport and that can be gauged from what Ronaldo had said of the Frenchman in 2019.
“The confidence that a player needs doesn’t come from himself but also from the players around him and the coach. You need to feel like you are an important part of the group and Zidane made me feel special.”
After beating Liverpool in the Champions League final in 2018 both left the Spanish capital before the 49-year-old returned for a second spell. He elected to step down again last May.
Zidane’s track record of delivering major trophies while developing younger players at Real also marries with the “cultural reboot” story United have sold to supporters as mitigation for Solskjaer overseeing their longest trophy drought in more than three decades.
Pressure on Ole
The Glazer family’s discontent with Solskjaer’s performance has been growing during a spell in which his leadership of the second-most expensive squad of footballers ever assembled has resulted in six defeats in 12 games.
There is no indication though from the club that the Norwegian will lose his job during the ongoing international break andhe is expected to be in charge for their next Premier League game against Watford.
Zidane is also not ‘desperate’ to accept a proposal from any club, as taking on a job midway through the season does not appeal to him. He would rather join a club in the summer where he can get a pre-season under his belt to prepare his team for the upcoming campaign.
If United came calling next summer, it could be a totally different scenario. Zidane could also consider taking the France job if it becomes available following the 2022 World Cup.