Jose Mourinho has reportedly been personally assured by Zinedine Zidane that he is not being lined up to replace Mourinho as Manchester United manager.
Neil Custis reports in The Sun that Zidane has called Mourinho in recent days to assure him that Man United haven’t been in contact and that he is not plotting to secure the job at Old Trafford behind Mourinho’s back.
The Reds have suffered their worst ever start to a Premier League season with three losses in their opening seven fixtures. No United side apart from David Moyes’ team in the 2013/14 season have begun a campaign with as bad a record. Moyes was sacked in April, after eight months in the job.
Mourinho is now convinced, according to Custis, that the United hierarchy have been in touch with Zidane’s representatives in order to ensure that he is available if they do sack Mourinho.
United fans are split over Mourinho’s future at the club. Many want to see him leave as soon as possible and for him to be replaced by Zidane. However, others argue that Mourinho should be given the season so that United can replace him properly at the end of the season with a long-term candidate, like Tottenham Hotspur’s Mauricio Pochettino. Some still defend Mourinho and insist that he should be supported by the board further in the transfer market and given time.
There is a toxic atmosphere at Old Trafford at the moment. Mourinho was fighting in the press with the United board in the summer over a lack of transfer activity. Now the season has begun, he is at war with star midfielder Paul Pogba.
That atmosphere must be sorted out. Zidane is seen as a possible replacement because of his handling of star players and huge egos at Real Madrid, where he became the first manager of the modern era to win three consecutive UEFA Champions League titles.