Zinedine Zidane has already told Man Utd he’ll reject job if Erik ten Hag sacked

Football Digest: Man Utd urged to give Ten Hag time he needs

Zinedine Zidane has previously ruled himself out of accepting the Manchester United job despite renewed links with the position. Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag is fighting to stay in the role after a dismal run of form.

United have suffered consecutive 3-0 defeats at Old Trafford. They were comfortably beaten by rivals Manchester City last weekend before being dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Newcastle on Wednesday.

Reports claim that while United are keen to persevere with Ten Hag, an improvement must be immediate. It has been suggested that the United hierarchy are already weighing up who could replace the Dutchman should they need to sack him.

Former Real Madrid boss Zidane is likely to be a contender for the job given his huge success with the Spanish outfit. In two spells at the Bernabeu, the Frenchman won three Champions League and two La Liga titles.

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However, the 51-year-old previously insisted he would not take the United job when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked in 2021. Zidane felt that the language barrier would not allow him to be a success.

“Would I want to go to Manchester [United]? I understand English, but I’m not completely fluent in it,” Zidane told L’Equipe at the time.

“I know that there are coaches who go to clubs without speaking the language, but I work in a different way. Many elements come into play in order to win, it is a global context. I know what I need to win.”

It comes with Ten Hag facing mounting pressure to turn around United’s form. Credit banked by a fourth-place finish and a Carabao Cup triumph last season has dissipated, with a negative result against Fulham on Saturday possibly enough to see the 53-year-old axed.

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Ten Hag has faced criticism for United’s lack of a consistent and recognisable style of play. However, he hit out at those claims in a fiery press conference on Friday.

He snapped back at questions over United’s performances: “I came here with my philosophy, based on possession, but also to combine it with the DNA of Man United, but also with the players and their character. We combined it last year and we played very good football last season.

“I want to play from the back and we try that in every game, but like against Man City, if they are good at pressing, it’s a good option to go direct. We want to press, then go direct, because we have the players who are very good at it.”

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