Manchester United have denied recent reports in the French media linking Zinedine Zidane with the club. The former Real Madrid manager, fresh off winning as many European Cups in 2 and a half years as United have won in their history, is currently contemplating his next job in football. With barely concealed civil war currently underway between United manager José Mourinho and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, someone decided to drop a well-timed report on the Frenchman’s supposed interest in the Old Trafford hot (?) seat.
It may have been a case of putting two and two together and making five - high profile manager out of work, idiot CEO who loves big names - but it was a fascinating hypothetical. With Mourinho looking increasingly miserable, star players being unhappy with him, and his bosses blatantly refusing to support him in the transfer market, wouldn’t the (conveniently adidas-sponsored) Zidane be a natural fit?
Well, someone at United has moved to shut those rumors down. A BBC report carries a direct quote from United saying, “Why would we discuss Zidane when there is no job?”
Well, that settles that then. Ed Woodward and his team should be fired for dereliction of duty. Of course there is no job
, at least until Mourinho walks in September and Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna lead United to Champions League glory. But with a team in apparent turmoil, and a current manager who has notoriously gone to pieces in every third season with the same team, it would be ludicrous if people at United weren’t discussing possible replacements.
In any case, United have gone out of their way to make sure we all know that Mourinho has the club’s full backing. Except in the case of getting him the players he wants or not having the CEO undermine him with press briefings. And as we all know, managers getting a vote of confidence early in the season after a worrying result is always, always a sign of no trouble whatsoever ahead.