In Brief

Man Utd: Zinedine Zidane tipped to replace Jose Mourinho

Old Trafford chiefs draw up contingency plans after manager Mourinho’s pre-season meltdown

Goals from Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera helped dispel some of the gloom that has hung over Manchester United in recent days as they ended their pre-season tour of the US with a 2-1 win against Real Madrid.

But that hasn’t prevented mounting speculation that Zinedine Zidane is being lined up to replace Jose Mourinho.

Not important

It was a welcome fillip for the Red Devils at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, albeit against a Real side playing their first game of pre-season. Not that Mourinho appeared that bothered by the result.

“The match doesn’t change anything,” said the perpetually morose Portuguese manager. “The result of the game today is not important. If you play Real Madrid in the Champions League that result is important, not today. I didn’t learn anything. I know what Herrera, Mata and Sanchez are. I know the kids are very young and need time to grow up.”

Herrera backed Mourinho in the post-match conference, saying that the absence of United’s World Cup stars had put the squad at a disadvantage Stateside, particularly as their stand-ins were mostly youngsters who wouldn’t feature again for the first team this season.

“It must be difficult for him to work with a group of players, maybe 50% of whom he’s not going to have in the future,” said Herrera. “You can’t really work tactically, because the guys you’re working with could be leaving, going on loan or going to the second team, so it’s difficult for him.”

Positive influence

Describing his fifth pre-season tour as “the most strange so far”, Herrera dismissed suggestions that Mourinho was a negative influence on his players. 

Quoted by Goal.com, the Spaniard said: “I can just say that with us he’s very positive, he wants us to fight for the titles, he wants us to perform to our best, he wants us to work as hard as possible.

“But probably he’s not frustrated about the club or the market, he’s probably frustrated because he’s not able to work with the players that he’s going to have for the season.” 

Zidane on the radar?

Will that frustration end with Mourinho and United parting company? The Sun understands from “Old Trafford sources” that Zinedine Zidane is being eyed up to replace Mourinho.

The paper claims that “the Special One’s pre-season meltdown has shocked players and staff” and contingency plans are being drawn up in the event that his frustration finally boils over.

The 46-year-old Frenchman sensationally resigned as Real Madrid manager in May after leading them to a third consecutive Champions League title, and it’s claimed that Zidane would relish the opportunity to relaunch his coaching career in the Premier League.

Recommended

Can Raducanu step back into the limelight? 
Emma Raducanu lost to Camila Giorgi at the Canadian Open 
Speed Reads

Can Raducanu step back into the limelight? 

‘Horror’ start: Ten Hag has a ‘hell of a job’ at United
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag
View from the terraces

‘Horror’ start: Ten Hag has a ‘hell of a job’ at United

Serena and her ‘evolution’ away from tennis
Serena Williams beat Nuria Parrizas Diaz at the Canadian Open in Toronto on 8 August
Profile

Serena and her ‘evolution’ away from tennis

Commonwealth Games: an ‘uncertain’ future?
The 2022 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham
Behind the scenes

Commonwealth Games: an ‘uncertain’ future?

Popular articles

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Will China invade Taiwan?
Chinese troops on mobile rocket launchers during a parade in Beijing
Fact file

Will China invade Taiwan?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 13 August 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 13 August 2022

The Week Footer Banner