3 Jose Mourinho alternatives Manchester United should consider
The mood surrounding Manchester United has soured significantly of late. Preseason preparations have been far from ideal with Jose Mourinho bemoaning the club's lack of activity in the transfer market, picking needless fights with several players, and generally moaning about every aspect of managing one of the world's biggest clubs.
His sour demeanour has become so bad that he is now favourite to be the first Premier League manager to leave his job this season. It seems that Mourinho's famous "third season syndrome" has kicked in very early at Manchester United and could have dire consequences for a club that is aiming to return to the summit of English and European football.
The Portuguese manager has constantly seemed downbeat during his press conferences on United's preseason tour of the United States. From slating young up and coming players by claiming they don't "belong to our squad" to comments made about the fitness of Antonio Valencia and the absence of Anthony Martial from the squad after he became a father, Mourinho's relationship with his players is deteriorating quickly.
As if isolating himself from his squad wasn't enough, the 55-year-old is reportedly "at war" with Manchester United's executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, over transfer funds and targets. Let's not forget that Manchester United has an exceptional starting XI and some wonderful young players vying for a place in the squad for the upcoming season.
Due to these, among many other preseason frustrations, Manchester United fans are beginning to worry. With rivals enjoying a happier and more promising preseason, some fans have even taken to social media to vent their frustration and demand the Portuguese manager is sacked before he does more damage to the squad and club harmony.
While it is extremely unlikely Mourinho will go before the season starts, there is a possibility that he will leave if results do not go his way during the opening months of the season. With that in mind, here are three top managers who are currently available and could be brought in to replace Mourinho should he depart Old Trafford.
#1 Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane shocked the world a few months ago when he left Real Madrid shortly after leading them to a third straight Champions League title. Citing the need for a change as the reason for his departure, many people believed he was preparing to take over as the France national team manager after the World Cup.
However, France's World Cup victory led Didier Deschamps to declare he will remain as the manager until at least 2020, leaving Zidane in managerial limbo. Having spent only two and a half years in top-level management, it is highly unlikely that Zizou will rest on his laurels for at least two years in waiting for the France job.
The opportunity to manage an English top flight team would appeal to the competitive nature of Zidane. His brief stint at Real Madrid was successful beyond imagination, but the Frenchman will need to accept new challenges in the future should he wish to inscribe his name among the greatest managers the game has seen.
Manchester United could present that challenge. A stumbling giant of English and European football, United is seeking a hero. Should Mourinho depart, Zidane could represent a breath of fresh air. His coaching methods and man management skills are a world apart from the styles of the Portuguese manager.
In addition, Zidane would have the opportunity to solidify his growing reputation while becoming a legend at Old Trafford. That offer could be too tempting to turn down should United come calling for his services in the future.