Zinedine Zidane is willing to make a shock return to Real Madrid - but only if the reigning European champions sign Rayan Cherki.
The Lyon playmaker, 19, is one of the most exciting youngsters in French football and it is believed Zidane is keen to work with him. If the rumours come to fruition, Manchester United fans could be left envious of their failure to land the Frenchman as manager.
Zidane is one of the most successful players and managers in history. He was linked with the United job before pulling out of the running, allowing Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag to battle it out. The Red Devils eventually hired the latter last summer.
Real are considering parting company with current boss Carlo Ancelotti after a difficult campaign. The Spanish giants are second in LaLiga - eight points behind Barcelona - and failed to defend their Supercopa de Espana crown, again losing to their bitter rivals.
Real's president Florentino Perez doesn't think twice when firing and Ancelotti could be shown the door for a second time if results do not improve. He is also accustomed to re-hiring managers, as Zidane has previously coached the team twice before.
Furthermore, Ancelotti is set to land the Brazil job. The Italian has told his Real players that he will leave the club in the near future and will start a three-year spell in charge of the South American country in July, with the contract ending after the next World Cup.
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That is according to ESPN, who claim the final details of Ancelotti's new deal are still being discussed. Brazil are currently without a manager after Tite's exit in December but are in no rush to replace him. The next Copa America does not take place until 2024.
As reported by Spanish outlet SPORT, Zidane is willing to succeed Ancelotti and complete a third spell in charge of the Madrid club. The Frenchman has not coached since leaving Real in May 2021, when Ancelotti was appointed as his successor.
It is believed Zidane would like Cherki to join him in Madrid if he takes the job. The attacking midfielder, who can also be deployed on the wing, has scored two goals and provided three assists in Ligue 1 this season. He also represents France's U21s.
Cherki has just 17 months remaining on his existing deal, although that can be extended by Lyon for a further 12 months. It is unclear how much the French side would want for the emerging talent. According to Transfermarkt, he is valued at €18million (£15.9m).
Zidane achieved significant success during his first two spells in charge of Real Madrid. He won nine trophies between 2016 and 2018 - including three consecutive Champions Leagues. He is the only manager in history to achieve that feat.
Zidane returned to the role in March 2019 after his successors Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari failed to replicate his success. He restored them to the top of Spanish football by winning the Supercopa de Espana and the LaLiga title during the 2019/20 term.