Ralf Rangnick has been confirmed as Manchester United’s interim manager to the end of the season after a deal was struck with Lokomotiv Moscow to release the German from his contract.
Rangnick has been working since July as Lokomotiv’s head of sports and development on a three-year deal. He has agreed to take the United job on a short-term basis on the condition that he will be retained as a consultant until 2024 and will have the power to influence decisions.
Michael Carrick took temporary charge of United for a second time in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea, and Rangnick is due to be in the dugout for Thursday’s visit from Arsenal – subject to receiving his work permit. Carrick will continue overseeing the team until Rangnick gets clearance. United, who sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjær just over a week ago, are at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday.
“I am excited to be joining Manchester United and focused on making this a successful season for the club,” Rangnick told the club’s website. “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 63-year-old is a former director of football at RB Salzburg and RB Leipzig but also has extensive coaching experience, including with Leipzig, Schalke and Hoffenheim. He has not worked as a manager since holding the fort at Leipzig in the 2018-19 season while the club waited for Julian Nagelsmann.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino remains interested in taking the United job in the summer and would not be put off by Rangnick’s presence in a consultancy role.
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“Ralf is one of the most respected coaches and innovators in European football,” United’s football director, John Murtough, said. “He was our No 1 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 impressed in an interview with Murtough, the technical director Darren Fletcher and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward when outlining his vision for the style of play he intends to implement. He may bring a small number of staff but the existing coaches will continue alongside him.