Zinedine Zidane has responded to an approach from Manchester United by saying that he will be available at the end of the season.
United are on the hunt for a potential replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but are suffering from a lack of current options.
Reports on Wednesday claimed the Red Devils had accepted the need to find a new manager.
However, with notable candidates unwilling to take charge mid-season, Solskjaer could keep his job until the end of the season, depending on how torrid the situation becomes.
It would allow United to draw out a succession plan and identify numerous options in the coming months.
One of those potentially interested in taking charge next summer is Zidane, despite his current availability.
According to BILD’s Christian Falk, United approached Zidane over the prospect of becoming their new manager.
But the 49-year-old explained that he doesn’t feel like it’s the right time to take up such a task in the Premier League.
Zidane has told the United board that he wants to take a break until the summer, suggesting that’s when he will be next available.
And his apparent willingness to arrive in Manchester upon the campaign’s conclusion could prompt the club to stick with Solskjaer for now.
One thing to consider is by the time we reach May, opportunities away from Zidane will also arise.
The Manchester Evening News also claim that United admire Erik ten Hag, who is many supporters’ first-choice candidate to replace Solskjaer.
He could be ready for a new challenge at the end of what promises to be another successful season with Ajax.
The likes of Brendan Rodgers and Luis Enrique could also be easier to target, with the former seemingly United’s preferred name.
Solskjaer is currently on the brink, and despite the club’s blatant desire to keep him until the end of the season, things can’t afford to get worse.
The trips to Watford, Villarreal and Chelsea before hosting Arsenal are all likely to be tricky and could end hopes of a revival under Solskjaer for good.
But if United can navigate through those fixtures, an enticing run across the next few months presents an excellent opportunity to get back on track.
Perhaps the club’s view on replacing Solskjaer will change if United can recover to achieve their targets this season.
But that’s currently unlikely, and there will be a selection of viable managerial upgrades ready to take charge next summer.