Martin Edwards: This is why Manchester United didn’t sign Zinedine Zidane

Martin Edwards: This is why Manchester United didn’t sign Zinedine Zidane

Former Manchester United chairman Martin Edwards has explained why the club didn’t really go after Zinedine Zidane in an exclusive interview with MUTV.

Edwards was promoting his book but had some interesting things to say about the players he regrets not signing for the Red Devils.

Martin was the club’s chairman for 22 years, starting in 1980 and ending his reign in 2002, having been involved with plenty of United’s transfers.

Sir Alex Ferguson was always a keen observer of top talent and at the time Zidane was one of the best players in the world but the former manager decided against signing him.

In a ‘what would’ve been’ scenario, one can only imagine what a Manchester United side that included the French legend would look like.

Edwards said to MUTV: “When Zidane was at Bordeaux, Les Kershaw, the chief scout, was telling me we should be interested in him and I mentioned it to Alex. Alex said that Eric [Cantona] had also mentioned Zidane to him but Alex felt Zidane played in the same position as Eric.

Having gone over to France to persuade Eric to re-sign for us, after the Crystal Palace incident, he felt that, if he had brought Zidane in, it may have affected Eric’s position, so he stuck with Eric.”

Eric Cantona is a club icon for United and given all that he’s done for Sir Alex Ferguson, the former boss would feel his decision had been justified.

Cantona was typically a striker but often dropped deep enough to be considered an attacking midfielder, meaning he’d be invading Zidane’s hypothetical space should they have both been on the same team.

Edwards previously enlisted Eric as one of his top buys for his former club and it’s no surprise that Martin and Sir Alex Ferguson both decided to place their trust in the Frenchman.

Zinedine is now currently the manager of Spain’s Real Madrid and has a huge amount of success in his short time over there.

Should Jose Mourinho ever leave Old Trafford, is it possible for Zidane to represent Manchester United but as a manager instead of a player?

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Freelance football writer and Football Manager enthusiast. Unhealthy obsession with tactics, debates and chasing after a ball with 21 other people.