United Told They Would Be Getting A “Mini Pep Guardiola” If They Replace Ten Hag With 45 Year Old

Bacary Sagna says Manchester United would be getting a “mini Pep Guardiola” if they hire Roberto De Zerbi.

The 45-year-old is believed to be one of the managerial candidates that INEOS have held discussions with as they contemplate replacing Erik ten Hag and, speaking to CoinPoker, Sagna said he rates De Zerbi highly after being managed by him in Italy:

“One of the first things I said to the media when he joined Brighton was that Roberto De Zerbi was a really special coach. I worked with him at Benevento after I left Manchester City, and I called him a mini Pep Guardiola. A lot of people laughed at me when those comments were published, but I think most people would agree with that assessment now. He’s not only a special coach, but a special person. I believe he can be one of the best coaches in the world one day. I think he’s already a top coach, and after I was able to work with him every day, I could see his quality and how good he was.”


Sagna says the comparison to Guardiola is a fair one, stating that the Italian has the ability to create a team capable of matching the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal:

“He has the same spirit as Pep Guardiola. He takes the same pleasure in coaching football teams. I think he is destined for the top and I think he could be one of the most important coaches of this new generation (of managers). I hope he gets a job with a really big club in the Premier League. I would love to see Roberto competing with Man City and Pep and Arsenal and Arteta because I believe he is good enough to challenge them. I love him.”

Sagna has worked under the best managers in world football

The defender was at Arsenal for seven years where he worked with Arsene Wenger and he went on to spend a season under the management of Pep Guardiola at City.

Sagna’s assessment of De Zerbi is, therefore, very authoritative based on the other coaches he has worked with.

Is De Zerbi in contention for the United job?

At the bookmakers, the Italian is currently third favourite to succeed ten Hag, behind England boss Gareth Southgate and ex-Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino.

We are expected to find out later this week whether INEOS will make a change in the dugout, once the end-of-season review has been concluded.

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David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.