Ratcliffe bids for Zinedine Zidane’s appointment

According to teamtalk, with pressure mounting on Ten Hag, Ratcliffe and incoming new sports director Dan Ashworth have compiled a list of potential replacements for the Dutchman. Julen Lopetegui, Graham Potter, and Ruben Amorim are among those on the list, although the trio may lack the wow factor required to take on one of the world’s most demanding jobs.

However, everything might be about to change, with reports claiming that another projected incoming director position at United, INEOS CEO Jean-Claude Blanc, has already set his sights on Zidane as his successor.

The Frenchman is recognized as not just one of the greatest players of all time, having won several awards throughout his playing career, but also one of the best managers of the previous 25 years, an all-too-rare combination not frequently seen in the modern game.

Zidane has won the Champions League three times as a manager and once as a player, and according to rumors, Blanc is a huge fan and close friend of his. Foot Mercato columnist Santi Aouna called Ratcliffe and Blanc’s goal as an ‘oversized ambition’, and an approach for the 51-year-old is expected in the coming weeks.

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Aouna points to Ratcliffe’s apparent ‘lack of support’ for Ten Hag, claiming that INEOS is ‘working behind the scenes on the recruitment of a new big coach’. That revelation comes in the same week that Zidane has advertised himself as being back in the job market and eager to return to football, saying he is ‘waiting for the ideal project to go back on track’.

His previous club Juventus has been linked with a move to replace Max Allegri, while Bayern Munich is looking for a replacement for Thomas Tuchel. Zidane was cited as suggesting regarding a return to management: “Why not?” Anything might happen. Now I’m doing other things, but we’ll see – I’d definitely like to return to the bench.”

Whether that happens at United remains to be seen, but if the new claims are correct, Blanc’s expected arrival at Old Trafford might offer Ratcliffe a significant advantage over his rivals for the renowned Frenchman.

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