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Sir Jim Ratcliffe 'dreaming of bringing Zinedine Zidane to Manchester United'

Ratcliffe 'dreaming of bringing Zidane to Man United'
© Reuters
Manchester United's new minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe 'dreams' of appointing Zinedine Zidane as the club's next manager, according to a report.

Manchester United's new minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe is reportedly dreaming of appointing Zinedine Zidane as the club's next head coach.

Despite an improvement in terms of results in 2024, there remains widespread speculation surrounding the future of current Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag.

Man United suffered their 15th loss of the 2023-24 campaign on Saturday afternoon, going down 2-1 at home to Fulham, with the result leaving them sixth in the Premier League table, three points behind fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and eight from Aston Villa in fourth.

Ratcliffe is yet to publicly back Ten Hag, although the Dutchman said during his press conference ahead of the FA Cup fifth-round clash with Nottingham Forest on Wednesday evening that he 'doesn't care' about the speculation surrounding his future.

"So I'm here. I'm under contract for three seasons, so I don't care," he told reporters. "I'm only focusing on the process, so I don't care what's going on around me.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag applauds fans after the match on February 24, 2024© Reuters

"I have many talks with Sir Jim Ratcliffe, also with Sir Dave Brailsford and others in that group, so I know where we are and I feel that they believe in me.

"I know what I'm doing. Consistently we have talks, and we're talking about the future together. If you talk about one defeat and the manager's position is in discussion, I think it's quite opportune after two months without a defeat. I can't take it seriously.

"It would be a problem when the leadership in this group has this approach or, internally, the others would have this approach, but that's not the case. We are together there.

"It's not about me. I'm not focusing on my personal circumstances, I'm just focusing on the team. It's all about focusing on that and don't get distracted by any noise or whatever."

However, according to Foot Mercato, Ratcliffe is keen to explore the possibility of bringing Zidane to Old Trafford, viewing the Frenchman as his leading managerial target.

Zinedine Zidane in charge of Real Madrid in May 2021© Reuters

The report claims that Jean-Claude Blanc, who is the CEO of INEOS Sport, is a 'great admirer' of Zidane and tried to bring him to Paris Saint-Germain during his time at the French club.

Bayern Munich are also said to be determined to recruit Zidane, with the Bundesliga champions recently announcing that Thomas Tuchel will be leaving at the end of the campaign.

Zidane has not been in management since leaving Real Madrid in May 2021, but he has been consistently linked with a number of high-profile positions over the last couple of years.

The 51-year-old had two separate spells in charge of Real Madrid, winning two La Liga titles, three Champions League crowns, two Club World Cups, two Spanish Super Cups and two UEFA Super Cups.

Man United will be bidding to bounce back from their defeat to Fulham when they head to Forest in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Wednesday evening, before visiting Manchester City in the Premier League this weekend.

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag applauds fans after the match on February 24, 2024
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Ten Hag: 'Sir Jim Ratcliffe believes in me'
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4Tottenham HotspurSpurs31186765452060
5Aston Villa32186866491760
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd31154124546-149
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham32139105256-448
8Newcastle UnitedNewcastle311451265521347
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