Chelsea’s ‘admiration’ of Zidane may fall on deaf ears as ex-Madrid boss eyes job elsewhere

Date published: Wednesday 7th September 2022 12:05 - Jason Soutar

Zinedine Zidane watching his son play for Real Madrid Castilla

Zinedine Zidane is one of the many names linked with the managerial vacancy at Chelsea, but he reportedly has his heart set on another job.

As a player, Zidane was one of the best of his generation.

He shone for Juventus, Real Madrid and France before hanging up his boots following Les Bleus’ defeat in the 2006 World Cup final.

A fantastic career ended in disastrous fashion after Zidane was sent off in the final against Italy for his infamous headbutt on Marco Materazzi.

His time as a manager has been quite decent, as well.

After a stint as manager of Real Madrid Castilla, Zidane took charge of the club’s first team in January 2016, replacing Rafael Benitez at the Santiago Bernabeu.

In his first season in charge, he guided Los Blancos to their 11th Champions League title.

Amazingly, in his first full season as manager, he did the exact same thing, making Madrid the first team to retain their crown in the modern day Champions League.

And just for s**ts and giggles, he made it three in a row in 2017/18, because why not?

Zidane left at the end of that season. As they say: he came, he saw, he conquered.

The Frenchman was replaced by Julen Lopetegui, who lasted a little over four months.

Fast forward to March 2019 and Zidane was back in charge of Madrid.

Unfortunately, the useless bugger failed to win his fourth Champions League as Real boss.

He did, however, win La Liga in 19/20. The second league title of his managerial career.

Real Madrid are now thriving under Carlo Ancelotti having won La Liga and the Champions League last campaign. They also beat the second-biggest club in Scotland on Tuesday night.

Zidane, on the other hand, has not taken on a new managerial role since departing the Bernabeu in 2021.

He has been linked with the Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus jobs in the past, but has never looked close to being appointed manager of either club.

Following the sacking of Thomas Tuchel on Wednesday, Chelsea are the latest club rumoured to be interested in appointing Zidane as their new boss.

Tuchel was dismissed following the Blues’ 1-0 defeat at Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday evening, though it has been reported that his fate was sealed before losing in the Croatian capital.

Brighton head coach Graham Potter has emerged as the early frontrunner to replace the German.

Potter is believed to have a £16million release clause in his Albion contract, and if the Blues are looking to save some pennies after shelling out over £250m in the summer window, Zidane or Mauricio Pochettino could be the preferred candidates.

The two are being considered by Chelsea, though there might be a problem with their potential pursuit of Zidane.

As has been suggested when linked with PSG earlier this year, it is believed that Zidane is holding out for the France job.

Didier Deschamps is currently in charge of Les Bleus, but failure to win this winter’s World Cup could see his job become available.

Daily Mail correspondent Sami Mokbel says Zidane is ‘admired’ by Chelsea’s ownership. However, the 50-year-old ‘still has his eyes on the France job’.

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