Zinedine Zidane heads the list of early favourites to replace José Mourinho after Manchester United’s shock announcement this morning of the Special One’s sacking.

Most bookmakers are currently assigning odds of 4/1 to Zidane becoming the Reds’ next manager, but there has as yet been no formal interest expressed in the role by the Frenchman.

Zidane, who managed Real Madrid for just under two and half years, leaving the club on a high after lifting a third consecutive Champions League trophy as manager in May, would appear to be the perfect fit for a team whose dressing room stands in disarray, with several key players standing accused of taking more of an interest in their Instagram profiles and personal brands than their performances on the pitch.

Other Candidates

It seems unlikely, however, that Zidane would take an interest in a move to the red half of Manchester, particularly given the language barrier – the former three times world player of the year is fluent in at least three languages, but English is not one of them.

Other names being cited at this early stage are Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – listed as outright favourite at 7/4 by Paddy Power – and Laurent Blanc for whom prices with some bookies are running as low as 5/2.

However, the quoted prices appear extremely conservative – the United board are unlikely to offer the role to Solksjaer whose only major achievement in British managerial football has been to lead Cardiff City into relegation.

Blanc, on the other hand, may be the dark horse – odds on the Frenchman being appointed as United’s manager have fallen from 10/1 to an odds-on of 8/13 with at least one bookmaker in the few hours that have elapsed since the announcement of the sacking.