Manchester United board could be about to hire their best manager since Sir Alex Ferguson

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Manchester United are stuck in a rut under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and, with more difficult games on the horizon, the Norwegian’s job at Old Trafford is far from safe. The Glazers have got previous managerial appointments wrong, at least in hindsight. And with the club being linked with Zinedine Zidane, the Red Devils may be about to hire their best manager since Sir Alex Ferguson.

United expected big things this term after backing Solskjaer during the summer transfer window.

Jadon Sancho was finally brought in from Borussia Dortmund, four years after Jose Mourinho had first tried to secure his signature.

Raphael Varane signed on the dotted line, a decade after Sir Alex Ferguson had attempted to lure him to Old Trafford.

And Cristiano Ronaldo sealed a Hollywood homecoming, with the veteran touching down from Juventus after 12 years away.

United started well this season, winning three of their first four Premier League matches.

But they’re currently on a run of six defeats from their last 12 matches going into Saturday’s showdown with Watford at Vicarage Road.

And with United toiling, Zidane is being linked.

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The Frenchman could become the latest big manager to waltz in the door at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils supposedly continuing talks with the 49-year-old with regards to taking over.

So far, however, it’s clear the Glazers have got their managerial appointments wrong in the years since Ferguson walked off into the sunset in 2013.

David Moyes was the first person to be hired by the Americans, having impressed during a long stint at Everton.

Yet the Scot lasted just 10 months before being relieved of his duties, having failed to secure Champions League qualification.

United then turned to Louis van Gaal, a serial winner with a past of glory at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Ajax.

But a turgid style of football dampened his days at the club and, though he won the FA Cup in 2016, he was also sacked for failing to qualify for the Champions League.

After Van Gaal, came Mourinho.

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He was always going to be a short-term option for the club and things initially started well, with the club winning the Carabao Cup and Europa League trophies.

However, after sucking the life out of the place, Mourinho was then relieved of his duties in December 2018.

At that time, United planned to bring in an interim coach before going for Mauricio Pochettino at the end of the campaign.

But Solskjaer ended up getting the job instead and, after two and a half years, United’s progress under the Norwegian is starting to unravel.

Now, Zidane is being tipped to take over.

And, should they be successful in hiring the Real Madrid icon, they’d be making their best managerial appointment since Ferguson.

Moyes was never going to work. Though he’d fared well at Everton, the step up was simply too high.

Van Gaal and Mourinho were both past their best by the time they got the job at United, while Solskjaer has never boasted the credentials to be in charge in the first place – unless you count his winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final.

However, Zidane would be a complete upgrade in every sense.

He has experience of managing at the very highest level, under stressful circumstances, having won the lot during his two spells at Real Madrid.

Zidane plays an attacking style, something United fans are craving as they look to turn their form around.

And he’s good with big egos, having successfully managed the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema and countless others during his time in Spain.

Zidane is also a serial winner and somebody eager for more success in management in the coming years ahead.

And if United can get him in the door, the glory days could come back.

Back in May, meanwhile, Zidane hit out at Real for the way he was treated prior to his departure.

“I have now decided to leave and I want to properly explain the reasons,” he said.

“I’m going, but I’m not jumping overboard, nor am I tired of coaching.

“In May 2018 I left because after two and a half years, with so many victories and so many trophies, I felt the team needed a new approach to stay at the very highest level.

“Right now, things are different. I’m leaving because I feel the club no longer has the faith in me I need, nor the support to build something in the medium or long term.

“I understand football and I know the demands of a club like Real Madrid. I know when you don’t win, you have to leave.

“But with this a very important thing has been forgotten, everything I built day-to-day has been forgotten, what I brought to my relationships with the players, with the 150 people who work with and around the team.

“I’m a natural-born winner and I was here to win trophies, but even more important than this are the people, their feelings, life itself and I have the sensation these things have not been taken into account, that there has been a failure to understand that these things also keep the dynamics of a great club going.

“To some extent I have even been rebuked for it.”

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