Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has stated his intent on keeping Zinedine Zidane at the Santiago Bernabeu amid rumours he could pursue his own senior management career this summer.
The official Real Madrid Twitter account and Spanish newspaper AS share quotes from the Italian regarding his interest in ensuring the partnership he has enjoyed alongside the 1998 World Cup winner continues:
Speaking to French newspaper L'Equipe (h/t ESPN FC's Ian Holyman) last month, UEFA president Michel Platini backed Zidane to succeed at the helm of Monaco, potentially replacing Claudio Ranieri after the French side finished second in Ligue 1 this season:
If Zinedine wants to be a coach, it's good to start with Monaco, which is a good club that has means. He has spent a year with Carlo Ancelotti at Real. So, he's ready. If he wants to do the job, he has to take the step. And if he wants to take charge of the French national team one day, it's better that he starts with a club.
I have spoken to Zinedine, and I know that he wants to commit himself. He has a name, he's intelligent. He'll be a very good coach.
It's a hefty billing to heap upon one whose only experience in management thus far has been that of assisting Ancelotti at ex-club Real.
Andy Scott of Agence France-Presse reported that ex-Sporting Lisbon coach Leonardo Jardim has been appointed to succeed Ranieri but no official announcement has been given on the decision just yet:
Zidane has an alternative option after Nicolas de Tavernost, the head of television channel M6—which owns Bordeaux—pledged his support in bringing Zidane back to his former Ligue 1 outfit as manager, per L'Express (h/t ESPN FC's Holyman):
What is a football company? It's a showbiz company. And if you have the best actor who comes to direct the show, you are better off. Zidane at Bordeaux, for us, would be brilliant. Having said that, there are conditions that need to be fulfilled for it to go ahead. To tell you we haven't thought about it, I would be a liar. To tell you that it will happen, I would be an imposter. At least for today, in any case.
The French legend is certainly a man in demand in his native land. Having won the Champions League, La Liga and two Serie A titles during his stints with Juventus and Real Madrid, Zidane is a learned figure in what it takes to become a success at club level.
Not to mention France owe a great deal to the former playmaker for his contributions to their cause at the turn of the century, winning the World Cup in '98 before triumphing in the 2000 European Championships.
From a coaching perspective, one might see it as more pragmatic to take the job at Bordeaux. Zidane has a strong bond with the club after playing at the Stade Chaban-Delmas between 1992 and 1996 and expectations may not be as high after the club finished seventh with Francis Gillot at their helm this season.
That being said, the task in turning the squad into one capable of competing for France's top spots could be more difficult than that of the cash-injected throne that may await him at Monaco.
There, Zidane would have money to build a team capable of jostling with Paris Saint-Germain for top spot, but his coaching ability would be pushed to the brink and the expectations would be there for him to swiftly deliver silverware.
Two propositions of two very different parameters leave Zidane with a conundrum, and it may yet be the case that Ancelotti gets his wish in seeing the tactician remain at Real for a while longer.
Whatever this summer's outcome, it seems only a matter of time until Zidane does make the eventual switch into a management role of his own, the only question remaining is how will he deal with the pressure?