Brendan Rodgers has emerged as the early front-runner to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford if the Manchester United board decide to remove the wheels from the Norwegian’s tenure, but the Leicester City manager is not the preferred choice of the United hierarchy. According to reports in the UK, the Premier League side are preparing a charm offensive to try and persuade former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane to take over.

United have long been admirers of the Frenchman, who led Madrid to three Champions League titles and two LaLiga crowns during his time at the Bernabéu, but Zidane has so far proved unreceptive to Old Trafford’s overtures. However, the board feel that the opportunity to work with Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphaël Varane – who Zidane personally recommended to Madrid while working as an advisor to the club – may swing the balance.

Solskjaer on thin ice at Old Trafford

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Solskjaer’s position has become increasingly uncertain after back-to-back home defeats against Liverpool and Manchester City and a run of just one win in six Premier League games. United spent big in the summer to bring Ronaldo back and to sign Varane and Jadon Sancho but there has been little notable improvement on the pitch and the 5-0 drubbing by Liverpool and a 2-0 derby defeat to City have tested the patience of the United suits. The Norwegian said before the international break that the fixture against Watford was crucial and anything other than a win will probably be the straw that break’s the camel’s back.

However, it is widely suspected that Zidane has already decided where his next job will be: the France national team. The legendary number 10 will be a shoo-in for the role if Didier Deschamps decides to step aside after the World Cup, by which time he will have been in charge of Les Bleus for a decade. As such, and taking into account Zidane has shown little desire to rush back into club management despite a number of offers, United may be thwarted in their attempt to lure Zidane to the Premier League.