Man Utd: Zinedine Zidane’s stance as ‘talks held’ with Jim Ratcliffe’s right-hand man | Football | Sport


Ratcliffe completed his £1.3billion deal for a 27 per cent stake in United last month, transferring total control over all football operations from the Glazer family to INEOS.

A significant shake-up of the club’s sporting structure is already underway, with Omar Berrada named chief executive and Dan Ashworth likely to become sporting director among the changes.

The winds of change could extend to the managerial position amid a disastrous second season for Ten Hag that may see United go without silverware for the sixth time in seven campaigns.

And last month, Foot Mercato claimed that Zidane had emerged as INEOS’ dream candidate to replace the Dutchman this summer.

However, fellow French outlet RMC Sport report that Zidane would turn down United if he is offered the chance to replace Ten Hag in the dugout.

Former Real Madrid team-mate Thomas Gravesen has previously claimed that he had been told he would only coach three clubs.

“I spoke to Zidane in Madrid two years ago and he told me that there were only three roles he would like to accept: they are Marseille, Madrid and the French team,” Gravesen told Discovery Denmark.

“We were in Madrid two years ago, and he told me exactly that. I also asked him if he was ready to coach again. And then he told me there were no possibilities only for these three.”

INEOS may be tempted to make their move, though, if they decide Ten Hag isn’t the correct candidate to take the team forward.

According to the Independent, they are big admirers of Zidane, who lifted three consecutive Champions Leagues with Real from 2016 to 2018.

And it’s claimed that INEOS chief executive Jean-Claude Blanc, who now has a seat on United’s board, has open contact with Zidane.

Ten Hag is essentially on trial as United manager until the end of the season and may be condemned to the sack if Champions League qualification evades the club.

He has one year left on his three-year contract beyond the summer, but INEOS will be keen to spend their first transfer window at the helm by backing a manager in whom they have total faith.

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