Man Utd ‘give Zinedine Zidane ultimatum’ as Red Devils ready to wreck Barcelona plans

Manchester United v Liverpool match in pictures

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Manchester United have supposedly given former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane an ultimatum as they flirt with the idea of parting company with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Liverpool’s massacre at Old Trafford has raised serious questions about the Norwegian’s capability to lead the team going forward, and the legendary Frenchman is on a shortlist of candidates to take over. 

Patience is wearing thin with Solskjaer as United now look back on a run of five defeats in their past nine games. 

Their latest loss was suffered in agonising fashion, a 5-0 thrashing at home to bitter rivals Liverpool as in-form winger Mohamed Salah ran riot. 

Paul Pogba’s red card and deafening boos from around Old Trafford capped off a nightmarish afternoon for Solskjaer who is now under serious pressure. 

Zidane and Antonio Conte appear to be the two front-runners if United are ready to part company with their former striker. 

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According to El Chiringuito, United have already given Zidane an ‘ultimatum’ as they ramp up the search for their next boss. 

He was believed to be waiting for an opportunity to manage the French national team, although with that opportunity not yet presenting itself, it remains to be seen whether he can be swayed. 

Failing a move for Zidane or Conte, the same report states that they will make a surprise move for Roberto Martinez. 

The current Belgium boss is still reeling from their Nations League semi-final defeat to France, although he had been heavily linked with Barcelona. 

Ronald Koeman’s side suffered a torrid run of form several weeks ago, although he is yet to be given his marching orders by President Joan Laporta which theoretically keeps Martinez on the market. 

Of course, the Spaniard has Premier League experience with the likes of Everton and Wigan, although they are not the kind of names to get United fans out of their seats. 

Still, Martinez spent well over a decade of his playing career in the UK, as well as another nine years as a coach so he may be open to the idea of a return. 

Despite potential suitors being lined up to take his place, Solskjaer still took training at Carrington on Tuesday as normal and is determined to mastermind a comeback over the next three matches. 

After their Liverpool humiliation, he said: “I do believe in myself, I do believe that I am getting close to what I want with the club.

“I have come too far to give up. I am not built that way. The feeling we have had is we were getting where we wanted to be but in the last few weeks results haven’t come and we have hit a brick wall. We have conceded too many easy goals and that is a concern.

“I am still thinking about tomorrow’s work, we are all low. This is the lowest I have been but I accept the responsibility, that is mine and mine going forward.”

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