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Man United board’s four trump cards in negotiations for Zinedine Zidane appointment



Manchester United have endured a torrid campaign under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer so far.

Despite being backed with three big signings during the summer transfer window, the Norwegian has failed to get the best from the players at his disposal. And with the crisis at Old Trafford still ongoing, Zinedine Zidane is now being strongly linked with the post.

According to The Times, United are pushing ahead with plans to bring Zidane to Old Trafford.

The 49-year-old is currently on the market, meaning he’ll require no compensation fee, following his decision to leave Real Madrid back in the summer.

United are hopeful he’ll accept the role, despite the France job appearing to be Zidane’s preference at the current moment in time.

Should they be successful in hiring the Frenchman, it would certainly be a big statement of intent.

According to Express Sport these are four trump cards the Red Devils hierarchy can use when it comes to acquiring Zidane’s services.

A reunion with old boys

If Zidane does take over at United, he’ll be reunited with two of his former players at Real Madrid.

He helped transform Cristiano Ronaldo into one of the game’s greatest during their time at the Bernabeu together, with the duo often hailing each other.

And Zidane also managed Raphael Varane, aiding the centre-back’s rise to superstardom.

Both players would be certainties to start if Zidane took charge, especially given their obvious talents.

And that would give the Frenchman a solid spine as he’d look to win the Premier League title at the first time of asking.

A platform to win trophies

There’s a sense that this United side are underachieving at present.

And that’s because the squad at Solskjaer’s disposal is arguably the strongest they’ve had since the Sir Alex Ferguson era.

Therefore, Zidane would be inheriting a bunch of players with the potential to get better right from the very start.

United have solid defenders and attackers on their books, with the midfield their weak link.

But Zidane, by showing some astuteness, would have a platform to achieve positive results from the very beginning.

Transfer backing

While United do sometimes underspend, they do often back managers.

David Moyes never got the support he deserved but Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer have all been given plenty of funds in the years since.

And that’s another thing that could tempt Zidane to the club.

He left Real because he was denied transfer targets by Florentino Perez, leading to the pair’s previously close relationship to fall apart.

But United would satisfy Zidane by assuring him he’d be able to sign whoever he wants – starting with the January transfer window.

A chance to cement himself

Regardless of what Zidane does in the future, he can boast of being one of the best managers there’s ever been.

After all, winning three Champions League titles on the spin with Real Madrid was a sensational achievement – and one that’s unlikely to be eclipsed in the foreseeable future.

Yet, still, there are some doubts over Zidane.

How much was Real’s success in the Champions League down to him? Sure, the tactics and style were good. But they had Ronaldo, Varane, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale and countless others.

Some feel Zidane needs to win at another team, where he doesn’t have superstars in every position, to show he really belongs with the best in the business.


Rio Ferdinand issues major warning about Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag




Former centre-back Rio Ferdinand believes it is still too early to judge whether Erik ten Hag is the right man to lead Manchester United back to the top, despite their unquestionable improvement under him this season.

United head into tomorrow’s Manchester derby against City at Old Trafford with the knowledge that a win will lift them to within a point and place of their neighbours in the Premier League table.

The Reds have lost just one of their last 18 matches since being battered 6-3 by City back in October, featuring a current run of eight wins on the bounce.

The Reds, such is the level of progress they have made under Ten Hag this season, are now considered as one of the favourites to qualify for the Champions League for next season.

They have made significant strides in a relatively short space of time and victories over the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur already this season have proven that they are capable of competing in the upper echelons of the table again.

However, despite heading into the second half of the campaign with form in their sails, Ferdinand insists the jury is still out on Ten Hag, despite him reaching 20 wins as United manager quick than any of his predecessors.

“I think it’s too early to say,” said Ferdinand to the Mirror. “We’ve been here with previous managers when it looks like we are onto something.

“We’ve got to be patient and give the man time. I think all the signs are very positive at the moment. He’s come in and seen what is happening, assessed how things are, looked at individuals and looked at the shape of the team.

“These were a bunch of players that were quite low. They were shot to pieces and he’s had to build, not only footballers, but men back up again. He’s had to build a lot of human beings back up and that takes time.

“The fact he’s now talking about qualifying for the Champions League so positively, he can sense a confidence coming back into this team. There’s a consistency of performance from the team that wasn’t there before and the signals and signs are all very promising.

“But they’re still not where they want to be. City are way ahead of where United are. The distance is a bit closer, but it’s still not anywhere near where we want it to be. There’s still work to be done.”

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Manchester United takeover bids ‘expected imminently’ with serious interest in Club




Manchester United are expecting takeover offers from across the world as they are set to invite bids ahead of ‘mid-February deadline’.

The Telegraph have reported that the club have received ‘serious interest’ from consortiums based in the Middle East, Asia and the United States.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also weighing up an offer, as the Glazers hope to the sell one of the biggest clubs in the world for over £5billion.

The report also adds that parties who had been interested in taking over Chelsea, before Todd Boehly’s £4.25bn takeover, are set to return with approaches for the Red Devils.

It’s expected that potential investors will go public with their attempts to buy United in the coming weeks with the clock ‘now ticking on a deal’.

Senior United figures will issue a mid February deadline for formal offers in order to help get get the takeover completed before the end of the season.

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Confirmed: Chelsea ready to make late bid to hijack another Arsenal transfer




Chelsea will make a late attempt to scupper Arsenal’s hopes of finally signing Mikhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Gunners have submitted their third bid for the Ukraine international winger and hope an offer of £62m before add-ons, which take the deal closer to £70m, will be enough to break the deadlock between the two clubs.

Chelsea’s interest in the 21-year-old winger was earlier this week described only as ‘exploratory’ but ESPN now claim that Todd Boehly will test the waters and attempt to throw a spanner in the works for the Premier League leaders.

Shakhtar’s technical director Darijo Srna was pictured at Stamford Bridge last week as he watched Chelsea’s defeat against Manchester City and Boehly would have little issue with meeting an asking price which is closer to £88million.

Arsenal are said to be confident that their latest bid for Mudryk will be enough to finally secure the services of their No.1 January target, but have already been beaten to the punch once this month by their west London rivals.

Chelsea won the race to sign Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid amid competition from Arsenal and Manchester United, but the Portugal international’s promising debut ended in devastating fashion when he was sent off just shy of the hour mark for a dangerous challenge on Fulham’s Kenny Tete.

Felix will now miss the next three games through suspension as the problems mount for Chelsea’s under-fire manager Graham Potter.

‘It sums up where we are at the moment – everything that can go wrong, is going wrong,’ Potter said after Chelsea’s 2-1 west London derby defeat.

‘It was a forward’s tackle from Joao, there was no malice in it but I understand why it was a red. It is another blow the hits keep coming at the moment.

‘He was really good you could see his quality in the game so it is doubly disappointing for us because he was looking dangerous throughout.

‘I don’t think there was too much malice in it and it is an unfortunate action and we are going to lose him now for three games.’

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