ZINEDINE ZIDANE and Antonio Conte are being sounded out as successors to under-fire Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Worried Old Trafford chiefs want to know whether former Real Madrid boss Zidane and ex-Chelsea coach Conte – both out of work – would be interested in the job.
A leading agent has been instructed to contact some of the biggest names in the game, with Ajax boss Erik Ten Hag and Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers – a former Liverpool boss – also on the shortlist.
While United chiefs are desperate not to sack Solskjaer, they can no longer ignore the shocking downturn in form and results.
That reached its lowest point on Sunday when they were hammered 5-0 at home by bitter rivals Liverpool.
The agent has been told to discover each of the candidates’ plans for the club and their own contract demands.
A sudden upturn in results could yet save Solskjaer but faith in him at the top level has now waned following Sunday’s humiliation.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has backed Solskjaer having put together a long-term plan with the Norwegian when he succeeded Jose Mourinho.
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The upward trajectory seemed to back that as they went from third to second in consecutive seasons.
But having invested hugely yet again in Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane the club has gone into reverse.
They now stand seventh in the Premier League – eight points behind leaders Chelsea – having taken just one point from their last 12.
Ex-Real boss Zidane became the first manager to win THREE successive Champions League crowns in 2018 before resigning five days later.
The French World Cup winner returned to the Bernabeu the following March to land a second LaLiga title before leaving at the end of last season.
He coached both Ronaldo and Varane at Real and would be an eye-catching appointment.
Former Juventus manager Conte guided Chelsea to the 2016-17 Premier League title – setting a record for the most wins (30) – and also won the FA Cup the following season.
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