Manchester United have confirmed the appointment of Ralf Rangnick as their interim boss, with the 63-year-old German returning to the dugout following a spell as manager of sports and development at Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow.
The Red Devils have put another stopgap in place after parting with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who had been asked to step in at short notice himself back in December 2018.
With the 1999 Treble winner paying the price for inconsistency at Old Trafford, ex-RB Leipzig coach Rangnick has been asked to steady the ship through to the end of the 2021-22 campaign.
Terms of the deal
Rangnick’s deal as manager is for six months until the end of the season and he has been offered a two-year consultancy role beyond that, which was key in him making the decision to move to Old Trafford.
Sources say the German was not as interested in taking the job when it was a short-term six-month role, but the offer to stay on and use his expertise to help those higher up the football structure after the season has ended is something that appealed to him.
GOAL understands United have not had to pay any compensation to Lokomotiv Moscow despite Rangnick only signing a three-year contract with them in the summer.
It is still to be confirmed when Rangnick will be in the dugout for his first game as manager. United host Arsenal at Old Trafford on Thursday but the German is still awaiting his work visa and the process for obtaining that has become longer and more complicated since Brexit.
Should it not come through in time, his first official game in charge would be against Crystal Palace at the weekend.
Man Utd confirmed when announcing Rangnick that Michael Carrick, who has overseen Man Utd’s last two games after Solskjaer was sacked following a 4-1 defeat to Watford on November 20, would remain in charge until the German is permitted to do so.
What has been said?
Rangnick told his new club’s website: “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.”
The bigger picture
While Rangnick is taking the reins for now, with United eighth in the Premier League and 12 points off the lead, a permanent manager is still being sought.
GOAL has learned former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, who is now in France with Paris Saint-Germain, remains the favoured option with the Old Trafford board.
It is understood the Argentine would have been open to returning to English football in the middle of the season, but his Ligue 1 employers are reluctant to negotiate a deal at this stage.
The Red Devils were forced to work through a list of alternative options, including one-time Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde.
They have now got their man in Rangnick, with a manager held in high regard by Jurgen Klopp and Julian Nagelsmann now set to take on a head coaching role outside of Germany for the first time in his career.
What is Rangnick’s background in football?
Rangnick has previously managed five clubs in the Bundesliga including Schalke and RB Leipzig.
It was with Schalke that he enjoyed the most success, finishing as runners-up in Germany’s top-flight in the 2004-05 season, while he claimed DFB-Pokal and DFL-Supercup glory in 2011.
In 2012, Rangnick became director of football for both RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg and played a significant role in helping the former rise from the fourth tier of German football to the Bundesliga.
Rangnick’s most recent position came at Russian Premier League side Lokomotiv Moscow, where he was appointed in July 2021.