08/23/18 - Nostradamus
Zinedine Zidane is being linked with the Man Utd manager's role amid uncertainty over Jose Mourinho's position following the Brighton fixture.
Manchester United have no intention of replacing manager Jose Mourinho with former Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.
Mourinho presided over a shambolic 3-2 defeat at Brighton on Sunday and several bookmakers have installed him as favourite to become the first Premier League managerial sacking of the campaign.
Zidane, who guided Real to three successive Champions League triumphs, left the Bernabeu in the summer and has been linked with United amid supposed uncertainty over Mourinho's role. However, a United source said: "Why would we discuss Zidane when there is no job available?"
United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward visited the visitors' dressing room for around five minutes after the Brighton loss as Mourinho attended his media commitments, and tension has mounted between the United board and manager after the club failed to recruit two of Mourinho's priority targets in the summer.
Mourinho signed a one-year contract extension until 2020 in January and United retain the option of an additional year to tie him to the club until 2021, but the club vetoed Mourinho's recommendation they sign 29-year-olds Toby Alderweireld, of Tottenham, and Chelsea winger Willian in the summer.
In a thinly-veiled dig at Woodward, Mourinho insisted he be referred to as a 'head coach' rather than a manager earlier this month and at the weekend refused to say whether he believed the current United squad, which was bolstered by the signings of Diogo Dalot, Fred and Lee Grant in the summer, could win the Premier League this term.
"I told in some press conference in end of November, December you will have an idea if we can compete," Mourinho said at Brighton.
"Two mistakes," he added in reference to Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly's blunders at the Amex Stadium. "We made mistakes and were punished by our mistakes, sometimes you make mistakes and are punished sometimes the opponent doesn't take advantage of the gifts, and sometimes they do and this time was almost three on three so they were critical in the gifts that we gave them and because of that I think they deserve.
"I think is normal that opposition with difficult ambitions when they face the top teams is normal that they have different levels of motivation that they show. But sometimes it can be a fake feeling, what makes the big difference is the happiness, is the confidence and without nothing they are winning 2-0 and obviously that gives a big boost and pushes the losing side down mentally.
"And then we score the first goal which gave the feeling the game is open and we are going to finish the first-half on a high and then the third goal appears and we go again to this situation.
"And, finally in the second-half our goal was too late and gave us not even a chance of a next ball, which was quite strange because, for example, against Leicester the match ended with a corner against us and Schmeichel having 15 seconds to arrive from his box to our box and the referee waiting for that opportunity when it was after the extra time he gave and today the situation was similar in a sense, we had one last ball and we stopped when the ball was in the air but they deserve."
Zidane spent two-and-a-half years as Real coach and clinched two Club World Cups and a La Liga title, as well as a hat-trick of European Cups and two European Super Cups. He is currently unattached as he mulls his next managerial move.