Man United open talks with ex-Premier League boss after narrowing down manager search to two top candidates

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Manchester United have narrowed down their manager search to two leading candidates as Jose Mourinho’s future hangs in the balance at Old Trafford.

The Portuguese’s future at United has been in doubt for some time now, and CaughtOffside understands the club are stepping up the process to replace him in case things don’t improve.

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The Daily Mirror rather boldly stated that Mourinho would be sacked after the Newcastle game before the international break, regardless of the result at Old Trafford.

Jose Mourinho nearing Manchester United sack?

The Red Devils won that match 3-2 after going 2-0 down, which appeared to buy their manager some time as he remains in the position ahead of some big games.

However, Sky Italia have since reported, with translation in the Utd Report tweet below, that Mourinho could be gone before next week’s Champions League game against Juventus, depending on the result against Chelsea this weekend.

Zinedine Zidane or Antonio Conte to Manchester United?

CaughtOffside have been told that United are now preparing for life post-Mourinho and have held talks with both Zinedine Zidane and Antonio Conte.

While Zidane has been linked by various outlets with the MUFC job for some time now, there has been growing talk of other candidates also being in the frame.

This is partly because the Mail have been among those suggesting Zidane has his reservations about accepting the position, while other targets have also proven tricky to attract.

Zinedine Zidane or Antonio Conte for Manchester United?

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Earlier this season, the Independent listed as many as six names as being under consideration at United, with Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri among those.

Club sources have since informed CaughtOffside that luring those two away from their current jobs in the middle of a season – if at all – is looking highly unlikely, while other names from the Independent’s piece – Leonardo Jardim, Didier Deschamps and Marco Silva – have fallen out of favour with the United hierarchy.

Corriere dello Sport, with translation from the Mirror, recently suggested Conte was in the frame, and CaughtOffside understand he’s now been the subject of an initial approach from United.

The Italian tactician won the Premier League title in his time with Chelsea before a difficult second season at the club, though he’s far from the first to go through such a collapse at Stamford Bridge and it doesn’t seem to have harmed his reputation.

Antonio Conte won the Premier League title in his first season at Chelsea

Conte was also a serial winner in his time at Juventus and, like Zidane, has the added bonus of being available straight away.

However, this could prove a tricky one as well as the Mirror link him as a target for Real Madrid, who are struggling since Zidane left them in the summer, with new man at the helm Julen Lopetegui not looking at all convincing.

There’s a long way to go before anything concrete changes at United, but a bad result against Chelsea this weekend means Zidane or Conte coming in seems likely sooner or later.

MORE: Jose Mourinho faces Manchester United sack in coming days, could be gone before Juventus game depending on result vs Chelsea

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