Ralf Rangnick: Manchester United to hire a German on a six-month contract

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

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

The 63-year-old German is on the cusp of going to United but will not be in charge against Chelsea this weekend while he waits for his work permit.

United have reached an agreement with Rangnick, but not with Lokomotiv Moscow, where he is the head of sports and development.

It comes after United sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday after a three-year stint 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 led Schalke to the semi-finals of the Champions League, losing a total of 6-1 to United, then defeated by Barcelona in the final.

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

Michael Carrick, Solskjaer’s assistant, was temporarily put in charge, while United said he would be in place as they searched for an interim manager before the end of the season.

Carrick took charge of United on Tuesday for a 2-0 win over Villarreal, a result that saw them finish top of their Champions League group.

Rangnick has built an impressive coaching reputation during his time in Germany, mainly through spells with Stuttgart, Hannover, Hoffenheim, Schalke and RB Leipzig.

He was then in charge of the Red Bull club group and his current club Lokomotiv will play a Europa League game against Lazio on Thursday night and United will be careful not to disrupt their preparation.

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

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

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

The move supports the Old Trafford outfit’s view that hiring an interim manager at the end of the season gives them room to properly assess the managerial situation.

Mauricio Pochettino is known to be interested in the United job, but the Premier League club is wary of protracted discussions with PSG that could drag on for longer than they want.

It is clear that Carrick will remain in charge for Sunday’s game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Former German goalkeeper Lutz Pfannenstiel briefly worked 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 that Germany has produced in the last 15-20 years I would say,” said Pfannenstiel, the sporting director of St. Louis City SC.

“Everything he did so far has been successful and he was always very clear that if he gets the chance to work for a big club in England he wants to do it.

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

“In Germany we like to call him the football professor. Everything he does is very well thought out, the way he sets up structures at every club is something amazing.”

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