The search for an interim replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to be over as Manchester United look set to appoint Ralf Rangnick as their new coach on an initial six-month deal
Manchester United are set to appoint Ralf Rangnick as their new interim manager – but only at the second time of asking.
The German is widely regarded as a football visionary and is set to take the reins at Old Trafford until the end of the season following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
After which, Rangnick is then set to stick around on a consultancy basis as United look to implement the long-term strategy their fanbase and former players have been crying out for.
Michael Carrick looks likely to remain in charge for the match against Chelsea on Sunday due to Rangnick not yet holding a valid UK work permit.
In addition, United are still in talks with Lokomotiv Moscow, where Rangnick is in a senior executive role as Head of Sports and Development.
It is perhaps due to his current commitments that Rangnick initially turned down United’s approach, before eventually accepting their offer.
According to the Manchester Evening News, Rangnick rejected their first proposition but then agreed to take up the post after receiving new terms.
United had made Mauricio Pochettino their first choice target to replace Solskjaer but were aware they may have to wait until the summer to land the Argentine.
MEN’s report claims that Paris Saint-Germain played ‘hardball’ with United over letting Pochettino go, forcing the Red Devils’ hierarchy to press ahead with bringing in Rangnick on a six-month basis.
That will see the German coach lead United till at least the season is concluded, by which time Pochettino may well be out of a job or ready to seek a new challenge.
Reports have suggested he is keen to take over at United, despite him playing down any prospect of him leaving PSG anytime soon.
Former Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde and ex-Lyon boss Rudi Garcia were also interviewed for the interim vacancy but United chief Ed Woodward was said to be ‘impressed’ by Rangnick.
In fact, Valverde was the first to be ruled out of the running, according to The Telegraph.
Rangnick possesses a strong CV from his time in the game, having begun his coaching career at the age of 25 and holding managerial posts at Schalke, Hoffenheim and Red Bull Leipzig, among others.
It was with Schalke whom he achieved a runners-up spot in the Bundesliga as well as domestic cup success, while he had previously won German football’s second tier with Hannover 96.
He had two spells in charge of Leipzig, with the second ending in the summer of 2019, following which he moved into the role of Head of Sport and Development for the whole Red Bull sports franchise, overseeing their global football operation.
AC Milan were set to appoint Rangnick over the summer but made a dramatic U-turn, which eventually saw him head to Lokomotiv in July.
Now the opportunity to spearhead a new project at Old Trafford seems to have been too good an opportunity to turn down, at least not twice.
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