Zinedine Zidane, Antoine Griezmann Linked to Manchester United in Latest Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2018

Real Madrid's French coach Zinedine Zidane (R) gives instructions to his players next to Atletico Madrid's French forward Antoine Griezmann during the UEFA Champions League final football match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at San Siro Stadium in Milan, on May 28, 2016. / AFP / GERARD JULIEN        (Photo credit should read GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)
GERARD JULIEN/Getty Images

Zinedine Zidane would reportedly move to sign Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann if he was appointed as Manchester United manager. 

Following a testing start to the 2018-19 season, there has been some speculation about Jose Mourinho's position as United coach, and Zidane has been linked with being his successor.

According to Le 10 Sport (h/t Manolete of AS), the former Real Madrid player and manager has already been in touch with the Red Devils and has named one of his transfer targets—Griezmann.

As noted in the report, the France forward is said to have a release clause of €200 million (£178 million) in the new contract he signed at the Wanda Metropolitano in the summer.

Manolete said Barcelona were strongly linked with a move for the FIFA World Cup winner in the summer, although he committed his future to the capital club, stating he wants to achieve "something big" with Atletico.

With that in mind, it would not only take something extraordinary in terms of a transfer fee to get Griezmann out of Atletico, any potential suitors would have to have major pulling power. Zidane, a France icon, at the helm of one of the world's biggest clubs in United would potentially do it.

Speaking to TVE (h/t AS) earlier this month, Zidane said he is considering a return to football management. "No doubt about it, I'll be back coaching soon, because it's what I enjoy," he said, only serving to fuel rumours of a possible move to United.

B/R Football joked about Zidane saving the day at United after they suffered back-to-back losses earlier this term:

While the Frenchman only has less than three years experience of senior management, he has accomplished a massive amount.

Zidane led Real Madrid to a historic three UEFA Champions League wins in a row, as well as the La Liga title in 2016-17. With that in mind, his name will surely be in the frame should any high-profile jobs become available this season.

Getting Griezmann to United would be another matter entirely. Having turned down the chance to join Barcelona, it's clear the 27-year-old believes in the project at the Wanda Metropolitano, and Atletico surely wouldn't sell for anything less than the amount mentioned.

The forward has developed into the team's key man in his four years at the club, per OptaJose:

Despite all of the speculation, Mourinho remains in charge at United, and his position doesn't appear to be in immediate danger ahead of Saturday's meeting with Watford in the Premier League. Prior to the international break, the Red Devils picked up a pressure-relieving 2-0 win at Burnley.

Nevertheless, while Zidane remains out of a job and United fail to totally convince on the pitch, these rumours will no doubt continue to simmer.

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