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May 7, 2014

Report: Zidane on Bordeaux shortlist

Zinedine Zidane tops Bordeaux's wishlist as the Ligue 1 club seek to replace Francis Gillot as coach this summer, according to French regional daily Sud Ouest.

Zinedine Zidane played for Bordeaux for four years.
Zinedine

Zidane, 41, came to prominence as a player in a four-year spell at Bordeaux, helping them reach the 1996 UEFA Cup final before moving to Juventus and then Real Madrid, developing into one of the game's greatest ever players.

Now assistant coach to Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, the former France international has made no secret of his desire to take sole charge of a senior team, and he has been heavily linked with Bordeaux in recent months.

Laurent Blanc successfully made his managerial bow at Bordeaux, whom he led to their last Ligue 1 title in 2008-09, and Les Girondins may be tempted to repeat the trick with Zidane.

Though Gillot, 54, has a year left on his contract after inking a two-year extension last season, he has found his position regularly brought into question this season with Bordeaux floundering in mid-table in Ligue 1 and often producing unattractive football.

Gillot was not present when Bordeaux presented their new home kit for next season at a local vineyard on Tuesday, heightening speculation he will be moved on this summer. Zidane reportedly heads a three-man shortlist of potential successors that also comprises current France U21 boss Willy Sagnol and Club Brugge coach Michel Preud'homme.

"It's a rumour and when the time comes, when the question of the team for next season comes round, we'll talk about it again," Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud told media gathered for the unveiling of the new shirt.

"I think today we're about the presentation of a shirt, and I think there aren't any other topics to discuss, because if I speak about Tom, Dick or Harry, it's going to lead to other questions, and it's not on the agenda right now."

After finishing fifth in his maiden season at the Stade Chaban-Delmas, Gillot won the Coupe de France last season, but the team only ended the campaign in seventh place, the same position they find themselves in currently with no prospect of European football next season.

With the club poised to move into a new stadium at the end of the 2014-15 campaign, the six-time French champions are looking to revive their fortunes on the pitch, despite not being able to boast the massive financial resources of Paris Saint-Germain or Monaco.

Zidane's ex-international team-mate Gregory Coupet told RMC the three-time FIFA World Player of the Year's global reputation could help offset Bordeaux's lack of financial muscle and believes his former club will afford the '98 World Cup and EURO 2000 winner a friendly environment in which to work.

"There is a reassuring side to this, I imagine, for Zizou," Coupet said. "He knows the people at the club and the club itself very well. For a first time as the No. 1 that could be comforting. It's also perhaps an opportunity for Zizou to be able to ask to have things exactly the way he wants them. I think there is still some money at Bordeaux and just Zizou's name will attract good players."

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