Ten Hag insists Man Utd have plenty to play for after European exit
Zinedine Zidane is once again linked with the Manchester United hotseat, and the former Real Madrid boss has added a vital extra string to his bow which he didn’t have before Erik ten Hag was hired. Zidane has long been linked with a sensational Old Trafford appointment, and he is reportedly on a shortlist with three other managers as the Glazers weigh up their options.
Defeat at home to Bayern Munich on Tuesday night made it 12 losses in 24 matches for Ten Hag this season. The Dutchman has fallen out with a number of senior players since taking the reins last year, and his raft of expensive signings are performing below expectations.
With that said, Relevo claim that senior United figures have placed four managers on a shortlist in case results don’t pick up. Alongside Zidane, who has long-standing admirers in Glazer brothers Joel and Avram, the Red Devils are believed to be keeping tabs on Julen Lopetegui, Roberto De Zerbi and Graham Potter.
Zidane has only ever managed at Real Madrid, but his three consecutive Champions League triumphs between 2016 and 2018 immortalised the Frenchman as a head coach.
Back in 2022, Zidane openly discussed links with United for the first time, claiming that a language barrier was among the factors deterring him from taking the leap of faith. “Never say never,” he told L’Equipe. “I can’t go [just] anywhere. For other reasons, too, I might not be able to go everywhere.
Since then, however, Zidane has taken action. Former Arsenal star Emmanuel Petit, who won a World Cup with his compatriot in 1998, claimed earlier this year that the man endearingly known as ‘Zizou’ has been ramping up his efforts to learn English – a possible hint at his intentions to have a crack at Premier League management.
“For the last few months, Zizou has been taking English lessons,” Petit told DAZN Bet. “I don’t know if he wants to come and manage in England, but this is an open door. For me, him starting to learn English means he has changed his mind about managing a team in England.
“He hasn’t managed anyone for a few years now and you need to remain sharp as a manager because football moves and changes so quickly.
“He needs to get back on the pitch as soon as possible. The fact he is learning English means that English jobs are now something he will consider. It was not something that interested him for the past few years.”