Manchester United are interested in hiring Ralf Rangnick as interim manager, having been rebuffed by Paris Saint-Germain with an initial enquiry for Mauricio Pochettino.
United are keeping their options open in the hunt for a successor for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and are prepared to hire an interim to take over from current caretaker Michael Carrick until the end of the season if their preferred candidates are unavailable until the summer.
90min has revealed already this week that ideal candidates Brendan Rodgers and Mauricio Pochettino would both be willing to leave their respective sides and take over at Old Trafford now if United make an approach. But having to deal other clubs makes the matter more complicated.
ESPN writes that intermediaries approaching PSG on behalf of United over the subject of Pochettino’s availability have been met with initial rejection.
PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi is aware of Pochettino’s interest in joining United and is far from happy about the situation.
In a further complication, AS has reported that PSG have been unable to persuade Zinedine Zidane to take over at Parc des Princes should Pochettino leave. The Frenchman is said to have doubts about accepting a job midway through the season and would prefer to wait.
Zidane appears to be the only name currently on PSG’s wishlist. But while they could make a renewed approach in the summer, the delay would have a knock-on effect in Manchester.
Depending on how the situation also unfolds with Rodgers, who has a contract at Leicester until 2025, it could result in United having to wait until summer to appoint a permanent manager – this is a scenario they are prepared for as an interim was mentioned in the club’s statement on Solskjaer.
Steve Bruce has thrown his hat in the ring, while United are also rumoured to have made contact with ex-Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde about taking temporary charge for the next five months, but the Manchester Evening News writes that Ralf Rangnick has also now been ‘shortlisted’.
It is said the German is the ‘preferred’ option for the interim job if United cannot secure a deal for a permanent appointment before the summer.
Rangnick is currently head of sports and development at Lokomotiv Moscow. He has primarily held similar roles for the most of the last decade, becoming director of football for both Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig in 2012 and later heading up Red Bull’s global football operations.
In 2011, Rangnick led Schalke to the Champions League semi-finals, losing against United, while two separate seasons as Leipzig head coach in the last 10 years saw them promoted to the Bundesliga (2015) and qualify for the Champions League (2019).