Ralf Rangnick open to long-term role as Manchester United manager

Rangnick’s first game in charge of United is Sunday’s visit of Crystal Palace

Ralf Rangnick has spoken to the media for the first time as United’s interim manager. Photograph: Roland Krivec/Getty Images

Ralf Rangnick would be open to becoming Manchester United's permanent manager should the club offer him the role in summer when his interim tenure ends.

The German has a two-and-a-half-year contract, with the intention being that he stays in a consultancy role after this season. Asked whether he would consider remaining as the long-term manager Rangnick said: “The people here have been very clear talking about a six-month role. We have never spoken about what happen in summer. Right now I’m fully aware they might be looking for a new manager. If they will then speak with me about that we will see.”

The 63-year-old then joked about when he worked as sporting director for RB Salzburg and RB Leipzig: “Maybe if they ask my opinion and everything goes well and we develop the team I might even make the same recommendation to the board that I did at Leipzig twice when I recommended it might be a good idea to keep working with me for one year. But this is all hypothetical. We cannot speak about that. For me now it’s about winning the next games.”

Rangnick described as “nonsense” that he would earn a bonus if he were to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, with whom he worked at RB Salzburg, and ruled out a January move for the striker. “We have excellent offensive players here already,” he said.


Rangnick offered an insight into how he may advise the club as manager and consultant when criticising the transfer strategy since Alex Ferguson retired in May 2013. “The club has had no continuity in signing new players and sticking to the DNA of the club,” he said. “In the future, the board members and myself have the same opinion. It’s important not to have many changes in management.”

Rangnick’s first game is Sunday’s visit of Crystal Palace. He takes over a side three points behind West Ham in fourth, and 12 behind the leaders, Chelsea. Rangnick was at Thursday’s 3-2 win over Arsenal, a United display as uneven as those over the past two months.

Rangnick said: “It’s obvious the squad has talent and experience. The challenge is to bring more balance into the team. Even yesterday we needed three goals to win the game. It’s almost two goals on average conceded per game and this is too much. Yesterday’s game was exciting for the fans but as the coach they are not the games you need every day. For me it is to minimise the coincidence factor and have control of the game.”

Rangnick has previously stated that he turned an offer from Chelsea to be the club’s interim manager because the players might view his temporary status as a weakness.

"At the time when Chelsea contacted me in February, we spoke only about the interim manager for four months, without any perspective to work in the long-term together," he said. "Here now we are talking about six and a half months, so we only have one-third of the games played in the Premier League and, as you all know, we have agreed on a two-year advisory role after those six and a half months and in the end, to be honest, when a club like Manchester United contacts you for such a role you cannot possibly turn it down . . . I'm more than excited to work with the kind of players we have here. It's a big challenge but I have also worked with other top star players."

After Michael Carrick left United on Thursday after 15 years, and having been the caretaker manager for the past three matches, Rangnick indicated he intends to bring in his own staff. "I will obviously try to find one, two, maybe three people who can join us in the one or two weeks but due to the Brexit regulations it's not too easy."

Rangnick is expected to implement a high-pressing style. He played down the 36-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo being unable to execute this. “You always have to adapt your style or your idea of football to the players you have available, not visa versa. Having seen Cristiano yesterday in the second half at the age of 36, an amazing top professional. At his age, I’ve never seen a player who is still that physically fit. He’s still a player who can easily make the difference . . . What I saw from Cristiano yesterday, he is more than willing to do that, to put his input into the team.”

Regarding strengthening the squad next month, Rangnick said that was not in his thoughts for now: “Winter is not the best possible time for sustainable transfers and with this quality of players we have here, it would in theory only make sense if you can get players who can almost guarantee you more quality.” - Guardian