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Zinedine Zidane 'contacted by European giants over management return'

Zinedine Zidane 'contacted by European giants over management return'
© Reuters
Bayern Munich reportedly make contact with former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane to discuss the possibility of taking over from Thomas Tuchel.

Bayern Munich have reportedly been in touch with Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane to discuss a possible return to management at the Allianz Arena.

The Frenchman has been out of the game since his second spell at Los Blancos came to an end in the summer of 2021, as he has apparently been holding out for the France job to become available.

Zidane has been in no rush to re-enter the dugout due to his desire to manage his country, but current Bleus boss Didier Deschamps is under contract with the French Football Federation until the 2026 World Cup.

Despite his lengthy period without a top-level job, Zidane has plenty of credit in the bank thanks to his stunning achievements with Real Madrid, whom he led to three Champions League titles, two La Liga crowns and two Club World Cups.

While it remains unclear whether the 51-year-old is willing to return to management in a club capacity, a handful of teams will likely try to twist his arm during a summer of unprecedented change on European touchlines.

Zinedine Zidane on September 28, 2023© Reuters

Bayern touch base with Zidane's camp

According to Marca, Bayern have now taken concrete steps to appoint Zidane as their new head coach by making contact with the Frenchman's representatives over replacing Thomas Tuchel.

The latter only took over from the sacked Julian Nagelsmann towards the end of the 2022-23 campaign, but his first full year in the Bayern hotseat will be his last, as he has already confirmed that he will be leaving at the end of the season.

Tuchel could still bid farewell to the Allianz Arena with a Champions League crown - the Bavarians drew 2-2 with Arsenal in the first leg of their quarter-final - but their Bundesliga crown was officially ripped out of their grasp by Bayer Leverkusen at the weekend.

Bayern have apparently asked Zidane's camp about the 51-year-old's willingness to come back to the hotseat for the 2024-25 campaign, only a few weeks after the ex-midfielder opened the door to taking the reins again.

Asked about the possibility of managing in Serie A after a Juventus charity match, Zidane said: "Train one day in Italy? Why not? Anything can happen, but at the moment I'm doing something else. I'm sure I'll return to the bench, I'd like to train again."

What other options are available to Zidane?

Former Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane on October 17, 2022© Reuters

A manager out of work for three years may raise a few red flags in any other scenario, but it has not been for the want of trying from interested parties to lure Zidane back in; his yearning for the France gig has simply been too strong up until now.

Whether the former Real Madrid Galactico can go another two years without barking orders from the touchline is another question entirely, and a handful of clubs could try to twist his arm this summer.

As well as Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Barcelona will both be on the hunt for new head coaches ahead of the exits of Jurgen Klopp and Xavi, and both sides have already been left to rue what could have been with Leverkusen head coach Xabi Alonso.

Zidane's former outfit Juventus could also come calling - the Bianconeri are expected to sever ties with Massimiliano Allegri this summer - while Paris Saint-Germain apparently tried their luck before hiring Luis Enrique.

New Manchester United stakeholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also an admirer of Zidane's work, but the Frenchman is not thought to have any interest in replacing Erik ten Hag this summer.

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CBayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen34286089246590
3Bayern MunichBayern34233894454972
4RB Leipzig34198777393865
5Borussia DortmundDortmund34189768432563
6Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt34111495150147
9Werder Bremen34119144854-642
13Mainz 05Mainz34714133951-1235
14Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach34713145667-1134
15Union BerlinUnion Berlin3496193358-2533
16VfL BochumVfL Bochum34712154274-3233
RFC Koln34512172860-3227
RSV Darmstadt 98Darmstadt3438233086-5617

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