Two In The Frame
Manchester United want either Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino or former Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane as their next permanent manager.
United confirmed the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as interim coach on Wednesday morning. The Norwegian will keep the managerial seat warm until the end of the season with the club expected to announce a permament appointment in the summer.
Pochettino is the red-hot favourite. But Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will battle hard to hold on to his coach. Tottenham are expected to demand anything between £34million and £42million in compensation for the Argentine who has been in charge at the north London club since 2014.
But Spanish newspaper AS claims Zinedine Zidane has already been offered the permanent position at Manchester United. The French coach has been out of work since he quit Real Madrid at the end of May.
While it is puzzling that he would wait until the summer before moving to Old Trafford when he is out of work now Zidane is believed to be keen to start a new job at the start of a season rather than midway through the campaign.
AS believes Zidane is mulling over the offer.
United Linked With Costa, Alderweireld
Meanwhile, reports are suggesting that Manchester United will sign two new players in the January transfer window.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been given £50million to spend next month and a move for Juventus winger Douglas Costa could be on the cards.
Costa spent the 2017-18 season on loan at the Serie A side before moving in a £36million permanent transfer from Bayern Munich at the end of the season. But the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid immediately pushed Costa down the pecking order and he has made just four starts this season.
The Brazilian was linked with United as long ago as 2011 and he was even invited to Old Trafford to watch a United home game in the early part of that year. Work permit issues scuppered a move then although they won’t be an issue now.
United are being linked by some outlets with Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Toby Alderweireld. But the Belgium international turns 30 in March. Jose Mourinho was frustrated in the summer when he named a number of players aged 29 or 30 as his preferred transfer candidates. They were knocked back by the United board on account of either their age or the fees involved. Alderweireld was one of those players with Spurs demanding around £75million. The latest speculation suggests he could be available in January for £30million.