The rumour mill is whirring into action as Jose Mourinho’s future as Manchester United manager continues to be shrouded in doubt. The Red Devils boss is favourite to be the next manager sacked and bookmakers have been busy pricing up the odds for his replacement.
We take a look at the four leading contenders to replace the ‘special one’…
Zinedine Zidane – 8/11
The odds-on favourite. Zinedine Zidane has been touted as Mourinho’s replacement-in-waiting for some time now and his reputation obviously precedes him.
Zidane was a wonderful player and enjoyed instant success with his first top job in management. The Frenchman replaced Rafa Benitez as Real Madrid manager in January 2016 and duly won three successive Champions League crowns, as well as one La Liga title, before resigning just five days after Real’s most recent Champions League success against Liverpool in May.
Zidane, who cited a need for change as his reason for departing the Bernabeu, has already won eight trophies as a manager. He was undoubtedly helped by the fact that he had Cristiano Ronaldo, the rising Marco Asensio and co. with him at Real Madrid, and it remains to be seen whether he could get a tune out of a limited Manchester United squad.
Antonio Conte – 9/1
Antonio Conte has been out of work since he was dismissed by Chelsea in July. The Italian delivered the Premier League title to Stamford Bridge, but his team came up horribly short last season as the campaign was played out to a backdrop of player discontent and murmurings about his defensive style of football. Some have suggested that replacing Mourinho with Conte would almost be a like-for-like replacement.
Mauricio Pochettino – 14/1
Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino has a proven track record when it comes to getting the best out of young players, as evidenced by the development of the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli. Pochettino would have some wonderful talent to work with at United, although would he want to leave a top-four club for a United side in turmoil?
The factor counting against Pochettino is the fact he hasn’t won any silverware yet, although he could argue that he hasn’t been as fortunate as someone like Zidane to go straight into a top job at a huge club.
Laurent Blanc – 20/1
The former Manchester United defender has forged a good career as manager, enjoying relative success with Bordeaux, the France national team and Paris St-Germain, who he left in June 2016.
The 52-year-old has been without a job for more than two years and would surely jump at the chance to return to Old Trafford.