Florentino Perez Reportedly Unhappy Zinedine Zidane Linked to Manchester United

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2018

Former French football player and former Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane looks on as he shelters under an umbrella in Saint Denis, suburban Paris on June 11, 2018 during an event marking the 20th anniversary of France's 1998 World Cup victory. (Photo by Eric FEFERBERG / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)

Zinedine Zidane reportedly remains a candidate to replace Jose Mourinho as Manchester United manager, but Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is said to be unhappy with the situation.

Spanish outlet El Confidencial (h/t Joe Short of the Daily Express) has reported Perez is upset Zidane is ready to return to the dugout after stepping down as Real boss this summer.

The Frenchman won three UEFA Champions League trophies in a row with Los Blancos, and Short said Perez wanted him to take "at least a year away" from top-level management following his departure from the Santiago Bernabeu.

Short called Zidane a "viable option" for United, as El Confidencial said Mourinho remains "on a tightrope" at Old Trafford.

Perez is unhappy Zidane may make a quick return to management.
Perez is unhappy Zidane may make a quick return to management.Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

The Sunday Mirror's John Richardson noted how Real pair Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez, Bayern Munich playmaker Thiago Alcantara and striker Edinson Cavani of Paris Saint-Germain would be on United's wishlist with Zidane as manager.

However, ESPN FC's Julien Laurens (h/t Lewis Winter of the Daily Express) doesn't believe Zidane has "anything lined up," despite the former Juventus and Real midfielder's obvious desire to return to management.

Zidane recently told TVE (h/t The Independent) he could make a quick return to coaching. However, The Independent's Miguel Delaney previously reported Mourinho won't be shown the door by United, despite losing two of his first four matches this season.

Tensions between Mourinho and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward have been suggested since the Red Devils failed to land a centre-back in this summer's transfer market.

Kroos could be on his old manager's list of targets for United.
Kroos could be on his old manager's list of targets for United.TF-Images/Getty Images

Woodward wouldn't back Mourinho on moves for Leicester City's Harry Maguire or Tottenham Hotspur ace Toby Alderweireld, according to James Robson of the London Evening Standard. He also blocked the sale of France international forward Anthony Martial.

However, Mourinho is still backed by senior figures at United, per Ciaran Kelly of the Manchester Evening News. His supporters will have been buoyed by United's 2-0 win away to Burnley last time out in the Premier League.

The result offered proof Mourinho can get his team back on track after humbling defeats to Brighton & Hove Albion and Spurs. There is still plenty of talent at his disposal, notably attackers Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku, as well as playmaker Paul Pogba.

Mourinho and Woodward are thought to still be at odds.
Mourinho and Woodward are thought to still be at odds.JON SUPER/Getty Images

Mourinho is under pressure to get the best out of these stars by producing a winning and preferably attractive playing style.

Perez may be concerned, and even a little irked, about the prospect of Zidane returning to the fray so soon. Yet the situation at United is far from simple, meaning it's likely the Frenchman will have to wait if he has his heart set on moving to the red half of Manchester.


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