In Brief

Mourinho latest: sack or stay, Zidane on standby, Man Utd manager odds

United board weigh up Mourinho’s future at Old Trafford

Will he stay or will he go?

Former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is on standby to replace Jose Mourinho as Manchester United manager, claims the Sunday Mirror. The paper reports that the Frenchman has been asked to “snub all job offers” as the Old Trafford board weigh up Mourinho’s future.

The Special One saw his side stage a sensational comeback on Saturday. United won 3-2 against Newcastle United thanks to a last-gasp goal from the allegedly unsettled Alexis Sanchez.

Despite the scoreline, the Old Trafford crowd were subjected to 60 minutes of aimless, appalling football by United, who conceded two goals to the Magpies in the opening ten minutes.

Theatre of Boos

The Theatre of Dreams reverberated to the sound of boos at half-time. Although United showed some steel to shatter Newcastle’s own fantasy of three points, it couldn’t mask another worrying display from a side that look shorn of confidence.

The Mirror says that Zidane is still very much in the thoughts of the United board and has been contacted with a request to “reject any approaches from elsewhere with Mourinho’s job in the balance”.

Ironically, adds the paper, it’s a similar move to the one deployed by the United board in 2016 when they asked Mourinho to bide his time as they summoned up the courage to sack Louis van Gaal.

Does Zidane want the job?

The Mirror says that Zidane is “excited by the opportunity to manage in the Premier League” and will therefore do as requested and use the time to further improve his English.

It’s even said that the former World Cup winner has compiled a list of “potential future signings” as he looks to restore the confidence of the club.

But that’s not the case according to Zidane’s agent, Alain Migliaccio, who was asked by the French paper Journal du Dimanche for his take on the situation.

“I do not think that he will manage in England,” Migliaccio replied. “It is much less his style. I have discussed it with him, it does not really attract him. He has chosen to have a year out, he will not dive in again before that is over.”

The German publication Bild reports that Zidane is a candidate to replace Niko Kovac as Bayern Munich coach, while reports in Italy suggest that the Frenchman is being lined up for a return to Juventus as their chief executive.

Money talks: £29m to sack Jose

Meanwhile United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is “loath to axe Mourinho” because it would mean a third sacking at the club since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013. There’s also the question of money.

The Mirror says that the Red Devils “face shelling out £29m” if they sack Mourinho now because his current contract runs until June 2020. The Portuguese manager would almost certainly turn the matter over to his expert legal team. The Mirror says that with “built-in loyalty payments, signing fees and other agreements on top of his £14.5m-a-year annual salary, that amounts to a whopping £29m”.

Woodward will be mulling over those figures, particularly as the compensation would drop to just £10m if he stays in place until the end of the season and United don’t qualify for the Champions League. The board could then sack him by paying “less than a year’s salary”.

Next Man Utd manager betting odds

According to 888Sport, Mourinho remains the favourite to be the next Premier League boss to leave or be sacked. Oddschecker places Zidane as the favourite to be the next Manchester United manager, while Antonio Conte and Mauricio Pochettino are also tipped by the bookmakers.

Next Man Utd manager betting odds

Prices according to Oddschecker (as of 8 October).

  • Zinedine Zidane: 10/11 
  • Antonio Conte: 15/2 
  • Mauricio Pochettino: 12/1 
  • Brendan Rodgers: 16/1 
  • Roberto Martinez: 16/1 
  • Laurent Blanc: 20/1 
  • Eddie Howe: 25/1 
  • Leonardo Jardim: 25/1 
  • Massimiliano Allegri: 25/1 
  • Ryan Giggs: 25/1 
  • Carlo Ancelotti: 33/1 
  • Didier Deschamps: 33/1 
  • Diego Simeone: 33/1

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