Manchester United had planned to give Michael Carrick until mid-December before making a breakthrough with Ralf Rangnick — ESPN’s Insider Notebook has the latest. PLUS: The Old Trafford outcasts who could yet get a second chance under the interim boss.
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United move quickly to secure Rangnick
Manchester United ditched plans to give caretaker Michael Carrick as many as six more games in charge after Ralf Rangnick emerged as the outstanding candidate during interviews to find the club’s interim manager, sources told ESPN.
Carrick was told to prepare for a longer period in charge than expected, with the club setting an original date of Brighton at home on Dec. 18 as the target for an interim to be appointed — only vowing to accelerate plans for an interim if a stellar option emerged. Rangnick has agreed to take over until the end of the season following a breakthrough in discussions with the 63-year-old, who is set to leave his position as sporting director at Lokomotiv Moscow.
Caretaker Carrick, who will oversee United’s trip to Premier League leaders Chelsea on Sunday, had the confidence of the United hierarchy to steer the team during a busy fixture period. The trip to Stamford Bridge marks the first of six games in 16 days following the 2-0 win over Villarreal to seal Champions League knockout qualification on Tuesday. The club wanted to wait longer before they made their appointment of an interim, despite facing criticism — even ridiculue — for the way they had approached matters following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal.
Sources said that “market forces” had left United with no option but to pursue the strategy, saying that the club were not in the fortunate position enjoyed by Liverpool and Chelsea when they appointed Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel respectively, with both coaches out of work and available when changes were made in the managerial department at Anfield and Stamford Bridge.
Football director John Murtough held talks with former Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde and Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui was also contacted as the club conducted a thorough search for a temporary boss. Sources close to Rangnick said he initially distanced himself from the idea he could be interested in a job at United, but a breakthrough came when a consultancy role was offered as part of the deal. Part of Murtough’s role at United in recent years has been to build a rapport with key figures in football around Europe and he enjoys a good relationship with Rangnick, with the pair also holding talks in 2019 about football development plans.
The club’s initial choice for the permanent position is Mauricio Pochettino, but that decision was made before Rangnick’s arrival. The terms of Rangnick’s advisory role after the interim management job ends have not been made clear but sources added he is expected to play a leading…
Read More News: Rangnick: Manchester United’s outstanding candidate