Ralf Rangnick has been named as the interim manager at Manchester United, and will be in a consultancy role beyond that.
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The German coach, 63, was one of five candidates interviewed by United’s hierarchy for the interim position after they fired Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last week.
United confirmed that Rangnick is now their interim boss and Michael Carrick will “remain in charge of the first team until Ralf’s work visa is finalized” which will be after the home game against Arsenal on Thursday (watch live, 3:15pm ET on Peacock Premium).
With reports circling that Mauricio Pochettino, Erik ten Hag and Brendan Rodgers are all high on their wish-list when it comes to new permanent managers, Rangnick has been chosen as the man to steady the ship until the summer.
He will then stay at Old Trafford to act as an advisor for two years after his role as interim boss is over.
“Manchester United is delighted to announce the appointment of Ralf Rangnick as interim manager until the end of the season, subject to work visa requirements. Following this period, Ralf and the club have agreed that he will continue in a consultancy role for a further two years.”
John Murtough, Manchester United football director, said: “Ralf is one of the most respected coaches and innovators in European football. He was our number one candidate for interim manager, reflecting the invaluable leadership and technical skills he will bring from almost four decades of experience in management and coaching.”
Rangnick added: “I am excited to be joining Manchester United and focused on making this a successful season for the club. The squad is full of talent and has a great balance of youth and experience. All my efforts for the next six months will be on helping these players fulfil their potential, both individually and, most importantly, as a team. Beyond that, I look forward to supporting the club’s longer-term goals on a consultancy basis.”
United sit 12 points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea after their draw at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and Rangnick’s first job will be to push them towards the top four, as they currently sit five points behind fourth-place West Ham.
Who is Ralf Rangnick?
The veteran coach is renowned as the coach who inspired Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel, Ralph Hasenhuttl, Julian Nagelsmann and many others for their coaching style.
Rangnick is considered to be the father of Gegenpressing and was heavily involved in leading RB Leipzig’s charge towards the top of the Bundesliga.
A defensive midfielder in his playing days, he has coached Stuttgart, Schalke (twice), Leipzig (twice), Hannover and Hoffenheim in Germany.
He joins United from Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow, where he led their vision as a club.
Is this a good fit?
Initially it looks a very good fit. Rangnick is experienced and will settle things down, and he will also start to put the building blocks in place for a new playing style at United.
His appointment as an interim coach would suggest that Erik ten Hag, Julian Nagelsmann or someone else could take charge in the summer. Pochettino’s philosophy isn’t exactly in line with Gegenpressing and he is unlikely to hand over a lot of the power to Rangnick.
Who knows, if Rangnick delivers success then perhaps he will stay on long-term as United’s head coach?
But it would seem that his future role as a consultant (probably as a sporting director) is a perfect fit.
United’s fans have been calling for a sporting director and this is a great opportunity to bring in Rangnick, one of the most respected project builders in the game.
He can oversee the current playing squad as interim boss over the next seven months and is then better qualified when he moves upstairs to help a new coach make big decisions about the future of the club.