Zinedine Zidane loves the idea of becoming Manchester United boss, talkSPORT has been told.
Zidane, the former Real Madrid manager, has long been linked with the role and is among the favourites for the vacant position following Jose Mourinho’s departure.
Sunday’s defeat to Liverpool proved the final straw for Mourinho, with the United boss axed on Tuesday morning.
It was claimed earlier this year that United chiefs have already held talks with Zidane over taking charge at Old Trafford, with the former France midfielder currently out of work having departed Real Madrid at the end of last season after guiding the club to three successive Champions League successes.
Following those reports, some Manchester United fans took cardboard cut-outs of Zidane to Old Trafford for the Red Devils’ Premier League encounter with Newcastle, which was expected to be Mourinho’s last match in charge – regardless of the result.
Mourinho stayed on beyond the 3-2 defeat of the Magpies, however, but the pressure continued to increase on him with United enduring their worst start to a season since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 and the Portuguese was finally relieved of his duties on Tuesday.
Now Zidane is being linked again with the job and, according to French football journalist Julien Laurens, it could be a good fit.
“He would be tempted – I think he loves the idea,” said Laurens, speaking before Mourinho’s sacking was confirmed.
“For him, the man management is his main quality, his biggest quality.
“He improved a lot at Real Madrid over the two-and-a-half years tactically, and in understanding the game, but where he was so good was managing that dressing room.
“He made everyone, even the smaller players, feel important.”
For Mourinho, his future in football is unclear.
The perception is few elite clubs would be willing to hire the Portuguese given his struggles over the past couple of years, and Laurens believe only one job remains open to the former Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid coach.
He added: “I think the next job for Mourinho is the Portugal national team, and that will be his last one as well.
“The big clubs – the top, top clubs – won’t want to hire him any more, and I’m wondering when I see him now whether he even wants to manage at club level, because he doesn’t seem to be enjoying it anyway.”