Mon. Nov 29th, 2021

Ralf Rangnick
Rangnick led Schalke to the Champions League semi-finals

Manchester United are close to appointing Ralf Rangnick as interim manager on a six-month contract.

The 63-year-old German is ready to join United but will not be in charge this weekend against Chelsea while awaiting his work permit.

United have agreed terms with Rangnick, but not with Lokomotiv Moscow, where he is head of sports and development.

It happens after United fired Ole Gunnar Solskjær on Sunday after a trophy-free three-year period as boss.

Rangnick won the German Cup with Schalke in 2011 and took RB Leipzig to the final in 2019.

During the 2010-11 season, he guided Schalke to the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they lost 6-1 overall to United, who were then beaten by Barcelona in the final.

United are in eighth place in the Premier League, and Solskjær, who scored the winning goal in the Champions League final in 1999 for the club, was rejected after an embarrassing 4-1 loss at Watford on Saturday.

Michael Carrick, Solskjær’s assistant, was hired on a temporary basis, and United said he would be in place while they sought to appoint a temporary manager for the end of the season.

Carrick took charge of United on Tuesday for the 2-0 win over Villarreal, a result that ensured they would finish at the top of their Champions League group.

Rangnick has built up an impressive coaching reputation during his time in Germany, mainly through periods in Stuttgart, Hanover, Hoffenheim, Schalke and RB Leipzig.

He was subsequently in charge of the Red Bull group of clubs, and his current club Lokomotiv have a Europa League match against Lazio on Thursday night, and United are careful not to disturb their preparation.

Rangnick impressed during an initial conversation with United officials earlier this week.

However, he has had further discussions about his role after the season finale.

Senior United figures believe Rangnick’s expertise will be invaluable from a technical and structural perspective.

The move supports the Old Trafford outfit’s view that it will give them room to assess the managerial situation properly by hiring a temporary manager for the end of the season.

Mauricio Pochettino is known for being interested in the United job, but the Premier League club is on guard to get into lengthy discussions with PSG, who can pull out longer than they want.

It is understood that Carrick will remain in charge of Sunday’s match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Former German goalkeeper Lutz Pfannenstiel worked briefly with Rangnick at Hoffenheim and believes his arrival at Old Trafford will be beneficial for United.

“Ralf Rangnick is a great expert, really one of the best coaches or managers Germany has produced in the last 15-20 years, I would say,” said Pfannenstiel, who is the sporting director of St. Gallen. Louis City SC.

“Everything he has done so far has been successful and he has always been very aware that if he gets the opportunity to work for a big club in England, he will do it.

“Looking at this interim head coach, I think he’s the one who can really get everything stabilized to really get Manchester United back on track. I think he was probably the best man on the market.

“We like to call him in Germany, the football professor, everything he does is very well thought out, the way he puts structures in place in every club is something amazing.”

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