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Man Utd news LIVE: Rangnick deal AGREED ahead of appointment, Chelsea build-up, Pochettino permanent manager UPDATES

MICHAEL CARRICK will be in the dugout when Manchester United head to Premier League leaders Chelsea.

And he has promised any incoming manager that he has left the club in a fine state.

The former midfielder, 40, said: "I think that's one of the biggest things in Ole's time as manager, creating and building an environment, a backroom staff and a culture within the group that is not obvious to the eye.

"You can see we finished well last season but once the results started going, it went pretty quickly, which is a shame because everything can get overshadowed.

"It's still there and the backroom staff and environment has helped me an awful lot this week.

"What happens next, it's there for sure and it's a great starting point."

Meanwhile, Manchester United have agreed a deal for Ralf Rangnick to become their interim manager for six months.

The German, who is a proponent of the gengenpress, is currently heads of sports development at Lokomotiv Moscow and he inspired Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel.

That means the club have bought themselves six months to find a replacement permanent manager with Brendan Rodgers and Mauricio Pochettino front runners to take over.

Paris Saint-Germain have been irked by reports the former Spurs manager could head to Old Trafford and have blocked an approach.

United have now put any move for Poch, 49, on hold until at least the summer, but the Argentinian is still keen on the Red Devils.

Brendan Rodgers remains in the running, but United will have to stump £8million to prise him away from Leicester City.

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Follow all the latest Man Utd news, transfer and gossip from Old Trafford below...

  • IN A FINE STATE

    Michael Carrick has promised any incoming Manchester United manager they will find the club in ship shape.

    Ahead of the club's clash against Chelsea, he said: "I think that's one of the biggest things in Ole's time as manager, creating and building an environment, a backroom staff and a culture within the group that is not obvious to the eye.

    "You can see we finished well last season but once the results started going, it went pretty quickly, which is a shame because everything can get overshadowed.

    "It's still there and the backroom staff and environment has helped me an awful lot this week.

    "What happens next, it's there for sure and it's a great starting point."

  • HAG-TASTIC 

    Manchester United will reportedly turn to highly rated Ajax boss Erik ten Hag next summer if they're unsuccessful in their pursuit of Mauricio Pochettino, writes JOSHUA MBU.

    Pochettino is favourite to take over from soon-to-be interim manager Ralf Rangnick next June.

    But according to the Daily Mail, should United fail in their attempts to lure the Argentine back to England - where his family live - they will turn to Ajax boss Ten Hag.

    The 51-year-old is believed to be interested in taking the long-term role at the Red Devils and Ajax will NOT stand in his way if he wants to leave at the end of the season, despite having a contract at the club until the summer of 2023. 

    United and Ajax have a healthy relationship with Red Devils legend Edwin van der Sar working as the Dutch club's chief executive. 

    The Premier League outfit also recently handed £39million for Donny van de Beek in 2020, with Van Der Car playing a key role in the deal.

    Ten Hag is a highly respected coach across Europe and has helped guide Ajax to the top of their Champions League group, winning all five of their played fixtures.

  • GOOD MORNING RED DEVILS FANS

    Barcelona are reportedly fearing that Manchester United or Liverpool could snatch highly-rated prospect Ronald Araujo.

    The 22-year-old star arrived at the Nou Camp from Uruguayan side River Boston in 2018.

    The defender has since broken into the first-team squad and the Uruguay national side.

    He is out of contract in 2023 but Barcelona want to reward his progress with a new five-year deal.

    However, ESPN claims that interest from the Premier League big boys and the centre-back’s wage demands could ‘complicate’ negotiations.

     United are sweating over the appointment of Ralf Rangnick with Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow yet to grant him permission to leave.

    The 63-year-old joined the side in the summer on a three-year deal as their Head of Sports and Development.

    But the former RB Leipzig gaffer has since reached an agreement with the Red Devils to take charge on an interim basis until the end of the season.

    United have been keen to bring in a new manager after they sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following the 4-1 away defeat at Watford.

    Should Rangnick complete a move to United, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says it's 'not good news' for other Prem clubs.

    When asked about Rangnick’s arrival, he said: “Unfortunately a good coach is coming to England, to Manchester United!

    “He’s a really experienced manager, built two clubs from nowhere.

    “Man United will be organised on the pitch. That’s obviously not good news for other teams.”

  • RED REDEMPTION

    Bruno Fernandes is United's leading top scorer in the Premier League heading into Sunday's clash against league leaders Chelsea.

  • WRECK IT RALF

    Ralf Rangnick has not ruled out becoming Manchester United’s permanent boss in the summer, writes NEIL CUSTIS.

    The German, 63, is yet to agree a move to Old Trafford, with details of his role at the end of the season still not finalised.

    United have reached an agreement with Lokomotiv Moscow’s head of sports and development to become their interim manager.

    The Red Devils made it clear he will then take on a similar role to his Lokomotiv job for the next two seasons.

    But Rangnick’s side are still negotiating the final details of his contract, with a possible clause allowing him to continue as boss if he wants to.

    If he does agree to a move into an overseeing role, he wants assurances over the power he will have in terms of player recruitment and development.

    There is also no agreement as yet about any bonuses he will receive for United’s success during his time in an overseeing role.

    He does not want his move to United just to be seen as a six-month interim term before being moved upstairs, but a serious longer-term project.

  • TICK TOCK

    Incoming Man Utd interim Ralf Rangnick could reportedly install a ‘countdown clock’ at Carrington to force players practice their ‘Gegenpressing’, writes ANTHONY CHAPMAN.

    The Telegraph claims the German tactician will ‘revolutionise’ United’s training methods when his arrival is likely confirmed this weekend.

    And it’s believed one way of getting players to understand his intense philosophy is to install a special countdown clock at United’s training ground.

    Rangnick is credited as the godfather of the ‘Gegenpress’, a tactic used by many including Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

    It sees players counter-press high up the pitch in an effort to win the ball back.

    And Rangnick will expect his newly-inherited United squad to get into a habit of reclaiming the ball EIGHT seconds after losing it.

  • REUNION

    United's past and present got together for the premiere of a film based on the life and career of Bryan Robson.

  • DREAM TEAM

    Italy and Portugal suffered a nightmare World Cup 2020 Play-Off draw and now look set to face each other in a shoot-out for Qatar, writes GARY STONEHOUSE.

    The Euro 2020 winners and Cristiano Ronaldo‘s nation both finished second in their qualifying groups, behind Switzerland and Serbia respectively.

    Italy now face a home clash with North Macedonia in the Play-Off first round in March.

    Turkey will visit Portugal, before the winners of both of those one-legged ties battle it out for a spot at next year’s World Cup.

    Even if one of the two powerhouses falls at the first hurdle, the draw still means that at least one of the last two European Championship winners will not be at the World Cup.

  • NET SPEND

    Man Utd have the biggest net spend since 2018.

    Will Ralf Rangnick be given funds in January to strengthen the squad?

  • RAM RAID

    Aaron Ramsdale wants to face a red-hot Cristiano Ronaldo when Arsenal travel to Manchester United next week, writes JOSHUA JONES

    The Gunners head to Old Trafford on Thursday in what looks set to be Ralf Rangnick’s first game as interim boss.

    Ronaldo, 36, has scored just one Premier League goal in his last SEVEN appearances, dating back to September.

    But with his heroics for United in the Champions League, he is now just one strike shy of 800 career goals. 

    Even so, Ramsdale insists he would prefer a ‘full-on battle’ with the Portuguese superstar than a quiet night between the sticks.

    The Arsenal goalkeeper said: “I’d never thought I’d play against Ronaldo, but I really hope he’s on it against us because it gives me a chance to test myself. 

    “As much as you want to go somewhere like Old Trafford, there’s no better feeling than getting on top of someone and saying I’ve had a full-on battle with Ronaldo.”

  • RON THE WAY

    Barcelona are reportedly fearing that Manchester United or Liverpool could snatch highly-rated prospect Ronald Araujo, writes GARY STONEHOUSE.

    The 22-year-old star arrived at the Nou Camp from Uruguayan side River Boston in 2018.

    The defender has since broken into the first-team squad and the Uruguay national side.

    He is out of contract in 2023 but Barcelona want to reward his progress with a new five-year deal.

    However, ESPN claims that interest from the Premier League big boys and the centre-back’s wage demands could ‘complicate’ negotiations.

    They claim that ‘sources said that during preliminary discussions with the player, there is a concern at Barcelona that they may not be able to meet the terms that he is requesting’ to stay.

    Both Manchester United and Liverpool have been monitoring the starlet’s development closely over recent years.

  • GOAT DEBATE

    Frank Lampard said back in 2020: “I’m gonna go Messi on this, on pure, natural talent. But what Ronaldo has done has been absolutely incredible.”

    However, the ex-England international has now revealed a U-turn in his thinking after watching a recent episode of Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.

    And he explained why while speaking to Gary Neville on The Overlap.

    When asked the question again by the Manchester United legend, Lampard responded: “You know what, I’ve always been a Messi man… and then I watched your debate with Jamie Carragher recently.

    “I actually think for Ronaldo’s output and actual numbers, and goals in big finals and semi-finals like we’ve seen, I think I maybe give him the edge.

    “That’s going to start a load of hate, now!”

  • RON LAST TIME

    Man Utd's Cristiano Ronaldo faces an almighty fight to play at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

    Portugal HAVE to beat Turkey to then face either ITALY or North Macedonia in the play-off final.

    Ronaldo's Euro 2016 winners will play at home should they make the final, though.

    But facing Italy for a spot at next year's tournament isn't ideal.

  • BEEK DILEMMA

    Micheal Carrick has revealed that Manchester United still don't know where Donny van de Beek should play - 15 months after signing him.

    Man Utd caretaker manager Michael Carrick, 40, gave van de Beek a rare start in Tuesday's 2-0 win against Villarreal in the Champions League.

    Speaking about the Dutchman in a press conference on Friday, Carrick said: "Donny's one of those players [that] because he's so flexible, he can play in different positions.

    "He did the same for Ajax before he came here, he's done that for Holland as well, variety can be a real strength.

    "We've got ideas where we think Donny's most suited but he's so flexible and adaptable, with two or three positions.

    "He even played as a false nine for Ajax in the Champions League when they ended up getting beaten by Tottenham.

    "We've got ideas for him but being flexible is a strength and a credit to what he can bring to the team."

  • CECH MATE

    Chelsea legend Petr Cech has warned the Blues that they have to be wary of Manchester United's new management setup on the weekend.

    United look set to appoint Ralf Ragnick as new boss and Cech is aware of the danger someone with fresh ideas can pose to the West London outfit.

    Cech said to Chelsea's website: "We have a saying in Czech: ‘the new broom sweeps better’. It’s always tricky when you play teams with a new manager.

    "That’s what our next opponents Manchester United will be hoping for on Sunday: when you get a change of manager, you always have a reaction.

    "Suddenly, everybody starts from the same spot again. The new manager brings new ideas, about the team, about the tactics, about the strategy, but only when he gets involved in training does he start choosing his team."

  • CROWN JUL

    Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann reckons Ralf Ragnick will be a hit at Manchester United.

    Ragnick's on the verge of being unveiled as the Red Devils manager following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's dismissal.

    But United will be in safe hands with Ragnick according to Nagelsmann and he texted the 63-year-old to tell him so.

    The Bayern head coach, who calls Ragnick his mentor, said: "I texted him and told him I think it's great.

    "He will do United very well with the way he plays football. I believe that United will play good games in the next few weeks and I wish he'll stay there longer than just next summer."

  • BLUES CRUISE

    Arsenal legend Ian Wright is sceptical about Manchester United's chances against Chelsea despite Ralf Ragnick's appointment.

    United are on the verge of naming Ragnick as interim head coach for six months.

    But Wright doesn't think that will be enough to stop Thomas Tuchel's relentless Chelsea.

    He said: "We’re talking about a Thomas Tuchel Chelsea side that is going to be ruthless with what they do.

    They’re not going to change. You’re going to have to deal with Reece James and what he can do.

    "Unfortunately for Chelsea, (N'Golo) Kante might not be fit. But the way they play in the system, if you’re organised, and you stay in your shape, you’re probably going to break through the Manchester United side.

    "I don’t know what they can do that’s going to curtail and stop Chelsea or slow them down for them to then impress themselves on Chelsea."

  • BREAKING

    Manchester United have reached a deal with Lokomotiv Moscow to make Ralf Rangnick their new interim boss.

    SunSport understands United have struck terms with the Russian club following talks over a deal for their German sporting director.

    However, the Red Devils are yet to agree personal terms with Rangnick himself.

  • LEO SAYS NO

    PSG sporting director Leonardo has finally broken his silence on reports linking Mauricio Pochettino to the Manchester United job.

    The 52-year-old Brazilian is in charge of all sporting operations at the Parisian club and has revealed they have no intention of letting Pochettino leave.

    Speaking to French media outlet AFP, Leonardo said: “We don’t want Pochettino to go. He’s never asked to leave and no club has contacted us for him.

    "We have a lot of respect for Zinedine Zidane, what he’s done as a player and a manager.

    "But I can tell you very clearly that there is no contact and no meeting with him took place.”