Zidane lined up to replace Mourinho

Zidane – Could be replacing Mourinho before the end of the season

Zidane – Could be replacing Mourinho before the end of the season

Mancehester United are preparing for life without Jose Mourinho after a heated week of frustration from their current manager.

There are fears that Mourinho would not see out the final two years of his contract after he complained about a lack of signings in his squad, which is already reduced by those on their World Cup breaks. First in line to replace Mourinho is former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.

Mourinho’s pre-season meltdown has shocked players and staff — plus deepened fears of him not seeing out the two years left on his contract. United have made Zidane their top managerial target. And, according to Old Trafford sources, the first call United would make is to Zidane.

The France legend, 46, will not cost a penny after walking out on Real Madrid following his spectacular hat-trick of Champions League titles with the Spanish giants.

Zidane heads the list of high-profile bosses available — just like Mourinho did during Dutchman Louis van Gaal’s final season at United.

Mourinho has raised tensions at the club by revealing none of his five summer targets have arrived to bolster a squad that failed to win a trophy and finished second in the Prem — 19 points behind Manchester City.

Brazil midfielder Fred is the only arrival who will compete for a first-team place, with right-back Diogo Dalot a prospect for the future and keeper Lee Grant a back-up.

Mourinho’s negative comments during the pre-season tour in the USA are a continuation of last season’s public outbursts at his own players.

He admitted he risked losing the dressing room by blasting his squad — and some players are now convinced this will be his last campaign.

Last season ended on a sour note when Mourinho said striker Romelu Lukaku ruled himself out of starting the FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea.

Zidane won three consecutive Champions Leagues at Real, making him a prime candidate for the Old Trafford job.

Lukaku was among the Belgium players Mourinho accused of “hiding” in their World Cup semi-final defeat to France, while the Portuguese was working as a pundit.

He will also be under pressure to finally get the best from £89million Paul Pogba after he starred for World Cup-winners France — in contrast to hit-and-miss displays for United.

Mourinho, 55, could now be forced to start the Premier League season against Leicester next Friday without some of his top players, who are still on holiday after Russia. – The Sun

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