Zinedine Zidane to Man Utd: Cristiano Ronaldo backing, phone call and stance on job

Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goal on Man Utd return in pictures

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Zinedine Zidane’s name is doing the rounds ahead of Manchester United’s Champions League clash with Atalanta on Wednesday night. The Frenchman is currently a free agent after leaving Real Madrid back in the summer. And with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struggling, a potential move to Old Trafford could be on the cards.

Manchester United were meant to be significantly improved this season.

But, despite spending big on Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho, the Red Devils have endured a difficult start to the campaign.

United go into tonight’s match with Atalanta hoping to get things back on track under Solskjaer, who has come out fighting.

But they’ll take to the field in Italy with talk of Zidane potentially taking over rumbling on in the background.

So Express Sport will now take a look at everything that’s been reported about the 49-year-old over the last few days.

Cristiano Ronaldo backing

Cristiano Ronaldo enjoyed the best years of his Real Madrid career with Zidane at the helm.

Together, they won three Champions League trophies on the spin between 2016 and 2018.

And El Chiringuito TV have claimed that Ronaldo has ‘recommended’ Zidane as a potential replacement for Solskjaer.

This seems pretty brutal. Especially given how Ronaldo was once a team-mate of Solskjaer’s under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Yet with the Portugal international eager to win, concerns from the veteran can be understood for existing.

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Phone call

The same source also states that United had a phone call with Zidane during the recent international break.

That’s something the club deny, with the Red Devils backing Solskjaer to turn the situation around.

But it’s stated that while Zidane talked with the club, he didn’t exactly give them the green light to make a move.

It’s claimed he’s instead holding out for the France job.

And that means a move to the Premier League, at this stage in his career, doesn’t seem to be a priority.

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Job stance

It was also stated by French journalist Frederic Hermel recently that Zidane doesn’t have plans to manage in England.

Not just now, either. Or ever.

The RMC Sport journalist said: “Zidane has never been interested in PL and surely never will be.”

France, it seems, are Zidane’s priority.

But links to Juventus have arisen in the past, too, with the Old Lady another of the 49-year-old’s former clubs.

Solskjaer’s defiant message

Speaking ahead of United’s Champions League tie with Atalanta, Solskjaer made it clear he trusted himself and his coaching staff to turn things around.

“We’ve progressed over the years. Sixth when I was here for half a season, then third, second, you can see the progress, the development, the improvement,” he said.

“This season, we still want to improve. We’ve signed some players that have raised expectations. Other teams have signed players and improved as well. We’re in the same boat as all of the top teams.

“There’s pressure all of the time, there’s pressure on me, of course. We’ve been under pressure before but come through it. I’m just looking forward to the response now and, as you said, I’m in dialogue with the club all of the time, so that’s an open and honest discussion.

“After every game, we look through the game, we analyse the game, we look at what we did well and what we didn’t do well. You move on quickly to the next opponent.

“It’s Atalanta, it’s a different opposition, a different competition, and we focus on what we need to be good at in this game.”

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