Zinedine Zidane has turned down the Manchester United job despite being ‘tempted’ to take over at Old Trafford, reports say.
The Frenchman is currently out of work after leaving Real Madrid. And a move to the Premier League, it seems, isn’t on the cards.
Zidane was successful during his two stints at Real Madrid, winning three Champions League titles on the spin as well as La Liga on two occasions.
However, he left back in the summer after his relationship with Florentino Perez fell apart.
Now, with Zidane available, the 49-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford at a time where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is fighting on.
The Norwegian’s side have lost six of their last 12 matches across all competitions, including humblings to the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester.
And with the Red Devils’ campaign going from bad to worse, talk of Zidane taking over has gathered momentum.
However, according to Mundo Deportivo, the former Juventus and Bordeaux midfielder has now declined the role.
And that’s despite initially being ‘tempted’ to take over from Solskjaer.
Zidane, it’s stated, is now wanted by Qatari side Al-Sadd to replace Xavi – who recently left the Middle East to return to Barcelona as a replacement for Ronald Koeman.
Yet his preference would be to manage France.
And it’s also claimed he wouldn’t rule out of the Paris Saint-Germain job, something that could work in United’s favour.
The Glazers and Ed Woodward have long admired Mauricio Pochettino, who currently rules the roost at the Parc des Princes.
And, should Zidane take over, that would give United a window of opportunity to bring Pochettino to Old Trafford.
The two men aren’t the only people being tipped for the job at the current moment in time.
Erik ten Hag and Brendan Rodgers have been linked, though both have made it known they’re happy in their current roles at Ajax and Leicester respectively.
And Ralf Rangnick’s combative nature has seen him ruled out, despite the fine work he’s done at RB Leipzig and Hoffenheim in the past.
Zidane, meanwhile, hit out at Perez when leaving Real Madrid earlier in the year.
“Dear Real Madrid fans, for more than 20 years, from the first day I arrived in Madrid and wore the white shirt, you’ve shown me your love,” he said upon exiting the Bernabeu.
“I wanted to write this letter, to say goodbye to you and explain my decision to leave the coaching job.
“I’m going, but I’m not jumping overboard, nor am I tired of coaching.
“In May 2018 I left because after two and a half years, with so many victories and so many trophies, I felt the team needed a new approach to stay at the very highest level.
“Right now, things are different. I’m leaving because I feel the club no longer has the faith in me I need, nor the support to build something in the medium or long term.
“I understand football and I know the demands of a club like Real Madrid. I know when you don’t win, you have to leave.
“But with this a very important thing has been forgotten, everything I built day-to-day has been forgotten, what I brought to my relationships with the players, with the 150 people who work with and around the team.
“I’m a natural-born winner and I was here to win trophies, but even more important than this are the people, their feelings, life itself and I have the sensation these things have not been taken into account, that there has been a failure to understand that these things also keep the dynamics of a great club going. To some extent I have even been rebuked for it.
“I want there to be respect for what we have achieved together.
“I would have liked my relationship with the club and the president over the past few months to have been a little different to that of other coaches. I wasn’t asking for privileges, of course not, just a little more recollection.
“These days the life of a coach in the dugout at a big club is two seasons, little more.
“For it to last longer the human relationships are essential, they are more important than money, more important than fame, more important than everything. They need to be nurtured.
“That’s why it hurt me so much when I read in the press, after a defeat, that I would be sacked if I didn’t win the next game.
“It hurt me and the whole team because these deliberately leaked messages to the media negatively influenced the squad, they created doubts and misunderstandings.
“Luckily I had these amazing lads who were with me to the death.
“When things turned ugly they saved me with magnificent victories. Because they believed in me and knew I believed in them.”