Manchester United appoints Ralf Rangnick 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, left his post as sports and development manager 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 that a breakthrough was made when a consulting role was offered as part of his move to the club.

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

“After this period, Ralf and the club agreed that he would continue in a consulting role for another two years.”

Rangnick is expected to take charge of his first game when United host rival Arsenal on Thursday in the Premier League, although this is subject to his UK work permit being finalized.

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

United have been on the hunt for an interim manager since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking following the sad 4-1 loss at Watford on November 20.

Former midfielder Michael Carrick will remain in office until Rangnick’s work visa is obtained, the club have announced. He led the team’s previous two games, first guiding United to a 2-0 win at Villarreal to secure a place in the Champions League round of 16 before claiming a 1-1 draw at Chelsea on Sunday.

“I am delighted to join Manchester United and I am focused on making the club a success this season,” Rangnick said.

“The team is full of talent and has a good balance of youth and experience. All of my efforts over the next six months will be to help these players realize their potential, both individually and, most importantly, as a team.

“Beyond that, I look forward to supporting the club’s long term goals on an advisory basis.”

Sources told ESPN that United spoke to former Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde and that Lucien Favre, previously at Borussia Dortmund, was also a candidate.

Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino remains United’s long-term goal, ESPN sources say, but the club have seen an initial investigation into his immediate availability pushed back.

Sources added that Pochettino would like the vacant position at Old Trafford but is under contract in Paris until 2023 after signing an extension this summer.

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