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Manchester United set record straight over Zinedine Zidane appointment

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Manchester United have set the record straight when it comes to Zinedine Zidane, according to reports.

The Real Madrid legend has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford amid their issues under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. However, it doesn’t seem like the 49-year-old will be taking over at Old Trafford.

United have endured a torrid season under Solskjaer so far.

Despite backing the Norwegian in the summer transfer window, and giving him a three-year contract at Old Trafford, the Red Devils have been in woeful form.

After losing six of their last 12 matches across all competitions they’re already out of the Carabao Cup, while they’re already nine points behind Chelsea in the race for the title.

With United in freefall, Zidane has emerged as a possible option to take over.

The Frenchman is available, having left Real Madrid in the summer after growing frustrated at Florentino Perez’s refusal to sign his top transfer targets.

See also  Man United closing on game-changing signing with term almost agreed

But The Athletic say United have now set the record straight.

It’s claimed the Red Devils have denied suggestions they’re interested in Zidane at the current moment in time.

And it’s also put forward that Zidane would prefer the France job, anyway, which rules him out of contention.

So, now, United could go after other managerial targets instead.

Fresh links to Brendan Rodgers have arisen, with reports claiming the Northern-Irishman is ready to ‘say yes’ to the Red Devils.

The problem is, however, that some at United are divided over whether to give Solskjaer more time or not.

Erik ten Hag and Mauricio Pochettino are other options, despite their commitments to Ajax and Paris Saint-Germain.

See also  The potential in this kid is scary': Roy Keane singles out Man United-linked Bellingham for praise

And while United have previously held talks with Ralf Rangnick, the board were unsure if the 63-year-old is too combative for the role.

Zidane hit out at Perez back in the summer, meanwhile, admitting he felt he wasn’t given enough power in Madrid.

“I am not abandoning ship and I am not tired of coaching,” Zidane wrote.

“I am going because I feel that the club no longer gives me the trust I need and doesn’t offer me the support needed to build something in the mid and long term.

“Over the last few months, I would have liked my relationship with the club and the president to have been a bit different to that of other managers.”

Raymond Domenech told Zidane to consider the United job last month, believing Cristiano Ronaldo could entice him to the Premier League.

See also  Roy Keane comments pose Cristiano Ronaldo problem for Erik ten Hag if he takes Man United job

“What job is he made for when he’s been a multiple Champions League winner with Real Madrid?” he said.

“What’s left? [Manchester] City, United, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich? There’s five or six clubs.

“After that, if he takes another club, they’re a step down for him, for someone of his level.

“There comes a point when you can’t let that possibility slip.

“He’s also got, with Ronaldo, a direct relay, a translator from Spanish to English.

“He’ll also get away from people who say he only achieved what he did because it was Real Madrid because he knew the players and he’ll prove he’s really a top manager.

“That’s why I tell him: go for it. Or stay in your comfort, but I don’t think that’s his desire.”

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Report: Star ready to join Man United now wants £33.7million contract

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The latest reports in the media are anything to go by and Adrien Rabiot’s mother-agent, Veronique, is proving to be a difficult negotiator.

Last night, we covered a story (via La Gazzetta Dello Sport) claiming that the French international has demanded a three-year deal worth £25.4million to move to Old Trafford.

This morning, as per Corriere dello Sport (news image provided below), the Red Devils have agreed a fee worth 17-18 million euros with Juventus but the dilemma is that the agreement with the player is still missing.

See also  Man United closing on game-changing signing with term almost agreed

Ten Hag contacted Rabiot to convince him to join Man Utd which is why the midfielder became willing to negotiate personal terms.

However, Veronique now wants a four-year contract worth 40 million euros (£33.7million) for his son and the negotiations have slowed down.

See also  Man United-bound player spotted on private plane with medical 'in next 24 hours'

Manchester United’s midfield department is in desperate need of reinforcements and Ten Hag may end up losing out on signing Frenkie de Jong to Chelsea.

The last big signing for the central midfield was done back in 2018 when Mourinho splashed the cash to lure Fred from Shakhtar. The Red Devils must act fast to strengthen things in the center of the park.

See also  Man United sanction second jenuary transfer under Ralph Rangnick's leadership

Rabiot is neither as creative as Pogba nor as versatile as De Jong. However, he has experience of winning big titles with PSG and Juventus and even with France. So, in all fairness, he would be an upgrade to McFred.

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Man United pushing for Pogba replacement in more ways than one

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Manchester United may be about to take on another troublesome Frenchman, having just gotten rid of one.

The departures of Paul Pogba and others this summer have left new manager Erik ten Hag with a bare cupboard in terms of midfield options.

United have turned to Juventus outcast Adrien Rabiot, who is available for £15 million, after failing to secure Frenkie de Jong, the Ten Hag’s top transfer target, from Barcelona.

Rabiot, 27, isn’t particularly popular at Juventus and hasn’t replicated the form that established his reputation during the seven years he spent at PSG before that.

But it isn’t just on-field sluggishness that has harmed the reputation of a player who was once regarded as France’s golden boy.

Off-field squabbles and indiscretions, not only by Rabiot but also by his formidable mother and agent Veronique, have earned him a reputation as a difficult customer in the game.

See also  Man United closing on game-changing signing with term almost agreed

However, Ten Hag and United are becoming increasingly desperate. Despite the club’s insistence that their interest in Rabiot was firm prior to Sunday’s season-opening loss to Brighton, the timing appears to be a reactionary move.

And Rabiot’s rap sheet contains numerous items that could cause United to live to regret their decision.

Rabiot was on the verge of breaking into the PSG senior squad after graduating from their academy in 2012.

Rabiot was supposed to travel to Qatar with the team for a mid-season tour, but his mother insisted on accompanying him.

Veronique, Rabiot’s uncompromising agent, enters the picture. After his father, Michel Provost, suffered a stroke in 2007 that left him with locked-in syndrome, she took over his career. Michel is paralysed but fully aware.

See also  Player ‘does not want to play for Manchester United’ – Doesn’t like the way Red Devils ‘operate’

Her insistence on accompanying the tour caused friction, and Rabiot was eventually loaned out to Toulouse.

Even stranger, she allegedly insisted on attending all of their training sessions while there.

Two years later, Rabiot was on the verge of leaving PSG after Laurent Blanc demoted him to the reserves.

Veronique was waiting for Blanc as he left PSG’s Camp des Loges training facility one evening.

‘You can’t treat him like that. ‘I’m not going to agree to that,’ Blanc was told, presumably forcefully.

PSG had no choice but to call in security, but the confrontation appeared to work.

See also  Paul Pogba makes Man United contract decision after ignoring Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Rabiot’s contract with PSG was renewed – and on better terms – not long after he failed to secure a move to Roma.

France’s hopes of adding the European Championship to their World Cup glory last year ended when they lost on penalties to Switzerland in the last-16.

Afterwards, an extraordinary video emerged of Veronique confronting Mbappe’s father, Wilfried, after the PSG striker missed the decisive spot-kick.

It is thought she said: ‘It is embarrassing how he struck that, for a player of his level. He hit it too lightly, I hope you are going to scold him.’

Apparently during an earlier discussion, Veronique told Wilfried his son was ‘arrogant’, has a ‘big head’ and gets ‘too much protection from the press.’

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Report: Arsenal in ‘lead’ for ‘remarkable’ £33m attacker; agents braced for potential talks

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Arsenal have been heavily linked with Villarreal’s Yeremy Pino in recent days.

According to El Periodico Mediterraneo, the Gunners are the most interested club in the race for the 19-year-old.

Meanwhile, Spanish outlet AS claim Villarreal would be likely to accept any bid in the region of €40-50m (£33-42m).

Now, Marca and EPM have provided further updates on Arsenal’s pursuit of Pino, as transcribed by Sport Witness.

Marca has claimed that the Gunners and Liverpool are in the ‘lead’ to sign the Spain international.

Villarreal are currently ‘waiting’ because ‘any movement’ could lead to Premier League interest intensifying.

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Meanwhile, EPM have reported that the La Liga club hasn’t yet received an offer from Arsenal or elsewhere.

Apparently, there has been only ‘one communication of a principle of interest’.

Namely, to know the intention of the player and Unai Emery’s side to carry out the potential transfer.

The report doesn’t mention which club made this approach.

However, they do explain Pino’s agents have maintained contacts with important Premier League sides.

The representatives have ‘seen with interest the possibility of starting talks for his signing’.

As per the AS report, EPM claim a deal Pino can happen for a fee of around €40-50m this summer.

See also  Man United-bound player spotted on private plane with medical 'in next 24 hours'

‘His composure belies his age’

Arsenal have (reportedly) picked out a superb target in Pino, one of the most talented youngsters in Spanish football.

He enjoyed a breakout campaign for the Spanish side last year, scoring six goals and adding four assists in 21 starts.

Pino also featured seven times as Unai Emery’s side reached the Champions League semi-finals.

He’s young, very talented, and has a fair bit of experience at the top level too.

Earlier this year, Squawka published a scouting report on Pino.

See also  Man United sanction second jenuary transfer under Ralph Rangnick's leadership

‘Yeremi’s finishing is remarkable’, they wrote.

‘He has a natural ability to get himself into goalscoring positions through his movement and well-timed runs, and once he’s there, his composure belies his age.’

They also said Pino was ‘among the most prolific dribblers within Villarreal’s squad, and brings great value to Emery’s squad with that attribute and his blistering pace.

‘He is crucial in the transition, and that is why the former Arsenal coach has opted for Pino in games where the counter-attack has been crucial.’

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