Manchester United appoint Ralf Rangnick as interim manager until end of season

Manchester United have appointed Ralf Rangnick as the club’s interim manager until the end of the season, the club announced on Monday.

Rangnick, 63, has left his role as head of sports and development at Lokomotiv Moscow and signed a six-month contract at Old Trafford.

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Sources told ESPN that the German was in advanced negotiations with United and a breakthrough was reached when a consultancy role was offered as part of his move to the club.

The club said in a statement: “Manchester United is delighted to announce the appointment of Ralf Rangnick as interim manager until the end of the season, subject to work visa requirements.

“Following this period, Ralf and the club have agreed that he will continue in a consultancy role for a further two years.”

Rangnick is expected to take charge of his first game when United host rivals Arsenal on Thursday in the Premier League, although this is subject to the finalisation of his British work permit.

He has previously managed Hannover, Schalke, Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga.

United have been searching for an interim manager since the dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the dismal 4-1 defeat at Watford on Nov. 20.

Former midfielder Michael Carrick will remain as caretaker manager until Rangnick’s work visa is completed, the club said. He has been in charge for the side’s previous two games, first guiding United to a 2-0 win at Villarreal to secure a place in the Champions League knockout rounds before claiming a 1-1 draw to Chelsea on Sunday.

“I am excited to be joining Manchester United and focused on making this a successful season for the club,” Rangnick said.

“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.”

Sources told ESPN that United held talks with former Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde and that Lucien Favre, previously at Borussia Dortmund, was also a candidate.

Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino remains United’s long-term target, according to ESPN sources, but the club had an initial enquiry about his immediate availability knocked back.

Sources added that Pochettino would be keen on the vacancy at Old Trafford but is under contract in Paris until 2023 after signing an extension in the summer.

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