Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's position at Man Utd amid Zidane & Conte speculation

Scott Saunders
Solskjaer is under immense pressure
Solskjaer is under immense pressure / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages
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Manchester United's awful defeat at Leicester City on Saturday has ramped up the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who sees his team sixth in the Premier League after a summer of heavy investment in the first team squad.

United's form either side of the international break has been poor. Meanwhile, a theme of disjointed, uncontrolled and loose performances has been present since the very beginning of the season - even showing up in games Solskjaer's side have won - and speculation is inevitably mounting over the Norwegian's position at the Old Trafford helm.

Two out of work managers are the names most associated with replacing Solskjaer were a change to be made, with noise across Europe increasing. Zinedine Zidane has taken a break from the game after two trophy-laden spells in charge of Real Madrid, while former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is the other top name in the frame after leaving Inter last season - albeit after winning Serie A.


Is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's job safe?

90min understands United's hierarchy made it clear over the summer that Solskjaer would be backed, and their belief that he is the right man remains at present.

Some in the club's top brass have always been uncertain that Solskjaer was the right man, but following talks in the summer they came together to put up a 'United front' over their manager. As it stands they remain adamant that they are not contemplating a change.

Fixtures with Atalanta, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City await United in the coming days and weeks, however, and poor form and results will only increase pressure with United already five points behind league leaders Chelsea.

The Times' Paul Hirst reports that morale among the playing squad is already "at a new low" amid the disappointing run of form, with the atmosphere among the squad also described as "flat".


Zinedine Zidane 'contacted' by United

Zinedine Zidane
Zidane continues to be linked / Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/GettyImages

Pinch of salt here, and that, but everybody's favourite Spanish TV show El Chiringuito have reported that United have already reached out and made contact with Zidane...on the recommendation of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Zidane comes with a number of plus-points should United move in that direction. They're trying to convince Paul Pogba to sign a new contract, and one of Pogba's chief motivations for pushing to join Real Madrid in the past was to work with Zidane - one of his idols.

49-year-old Zidane is thought to have been holding out for the France job when it becomes available, though that isn't expected to happen until the end of 2022 at the earliest, and after the Qatar World Cup.


Antonio Conte 'waiting for a call'

Antonio Conte
Conte remains out of work / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

One man not yet lucky enough to receive a call is Conte, according to reports in Italy, though he'd like one.

Italian journalist Fabio Santini was quoted as saying by Area Napoli that Conte has turned down the opportunity - and a huge offer - to manage newly-rich Newcastle United, because he's waiting for a call from the Old Trafford club, who have a ready-made squad many think capable of challenging for the Premier League title.

Calciomercato follow up and state that Conte to United is 'gathering pace' - and that he could even give up what he's owed in severance from Inter in order to take the job.


It's worth noting however that despite the growing appetite for change at Old Trafford, United plan to stick with Solskjaer as it stands.

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