Ralf Rangnick is close to concluding an agreement to become Manchester United’s interim manager, as they are looking for a replacement for the fired Ole Gunnar Solskjær, it was widely reported on Thursday.
The Premier League giants have identified the German, 63, who is currently head of sports and development at the Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow, as a potential short-term successor to the Norwegian.
Michael Carrick took charge of the team for Tuesday’s Champions League victory at Villarreal, which secured progress to the knockout stages, but the club wants to pick up a more experienced figure until the end of the season.
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United plan to make a permanent appointment at the end of the campaign, with Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino strongly linked to the job.
The Athletic reported that Rangnick, the former RB Leipzig manager, had agreed with United to take over, saying the deal was conditional on Lokomotiv agreeing to release him from his contract.
But it said he would not be responsible in time for the match at Chelsea this weekend due to work permit issues.
“All my energy and my mind at the moment is on Sunday. I control what I can control, ”Carrick said.
“Everything else is not up to me to worry about and get involved in because I need to win a football match and that’s what I’m looking forward to doing.”
Solskjær was fired on Sunday after his team’s embarrassing 4-1 defeat to low-key Watford.
They are in eighth place in the Premier League after losing four of their last five games, 12 points behind leaders Chelsea and six points behind West Ham in fourth place.
Solskjær struggled to get the best out of a richly talented team after the additions of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane in this summer’s transfer window.
It is still unknown whether Rangnick is the right fit for an underperforming collection of individuals.
He has built his reputation as the godfather of modern German coaching on an intense press style, usually with younger, less announced, players.
Rangnick’s philosophy has already had a major impact in the Premier League with his influence on Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.
“He’s one of the best, if not the best German coach,” Klopp once said of Rangnick.
However, he has yet to lead a club the size of United.
After periods at Stuttgart, Schalke and Hoffenheim, he has spent most of the last decade making Red Bull-controlled clubs Leipzig and Salzburg Champions League regulars as the clubs’ sporting director.
He joined Lokomotiv in July in a surprising move after being linked with a number of more high-profile posts.