Reports about Zinedine Zidane becoming Manchester United’s next manager are gathering pace as doubts over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future persist.
Following a report earlier this week from Portuguese transfer guru Pedro Almeida that Zidane is in talks with the club, intrepid Daily Record reporter Duncan Castles has stirred the pot, claiming that the Frenchman is ‘warming’ to the idea of taking the reins at Old Trafford.
Castles has actually been behind a lot of the recent reports that United are pursuing Zidane after a spate of reports saying that Leicester City’s Brendan Rodgers is the club’s first choice.
A report in The Times this weekend by the same reporter was a catalyst for a number of other papers to focus on the former Real Madrid boss.
And now Castles has published another article in his home publication The Daily Record with an update on the situation.
‘Record Sport understands that Zidane … is attracted to the opportunity to take charge of a squad that contains two of his most accomplished Real Madrid players in Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane,’ Castles says.
‘United hope that the strength of Zidane’s relationships with Ronaldo and Varane can help overcome reservations the 49-year-old has over moving to the Premier League, including a limited command over the English language.
‘An additional complication is the position of Zidane’s wife on United’s interest. According to a close friend, Veronique Zidane is not attracted to the idea of living in Manchester and would prefer her husband to take a longer break before returning to football.’
Analysing the new report, the new piece of information seems to be Veronique’s reluctance to move to Manchester.
This is a familiar story when big stars move to United, with a famous example being Angel di Maria’s wife Jorgelina Cardoso, who called Manchester ‘a sh–hole’.
Whilst family happiness is important, it also seems just as unlikely as it was in the past that footballing decisions of this magnitude would be governed by the attractiveness of a city as a destination.
The Transfer Podcast regular also says in the report that United ‘have made progress in their attempt to persuade’ Zidane to join the club.
Whilst Castles is not always considered the most reliable journalist by The Peoples Person, he has broken big stories in the past and he is pushing these Zidane links hard, so perhaps on this occasion the smoke he is blowing may indicate a real fire. Time will tell.