Manchester United’s struggles on the pitch continued over the week after they fell to a lacklustre defeat at the hands of local rivals Manchester City, and their issues off the field appear to be mounting too.
Following the Red Devils’s third defeat in their last four Premier League games on Saturday, speculation regarding manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future began to escalate.
Christian Falk, the head of football for German outlet SportBild, sparked rumours of Ralf Rangnick’s potential appointment, tweeting: “Ralf Rangnick is still interested @ManUtd.”
However, well-known journalist Fabrizio Romano has now provided a worrying update over the current head of sports and development at Lokomotiv Moscow.
The United Journal relayed Romano’s information online, writing: “‘#mufc would be a big dream for Ralf Rangnick.
“I heard he had talks with the board long back but the board changed his mind as he wasn’t an easy person for them to work with. I’m not sure if United will come back for him.’ #mujournal [@FabrizioRomano twitch]”
Adding to Romano’s latest update, The Independent have also claimed that United are considering installing the 63-year-old on an interim basis, although he would want a boardroom position subsequently.
“The German would be interested in any such role, but The Independent has been told that one issue is that he would also want some kind of football position afterwards,” wrote Miguel Delaney.
While ESPN reporter Rob Dawson has also relayed some intriguing developments. He claims that while Solskjaer’s position is safe for now, he could be replaced by Rangnick on a short-term basis due to his relationship with the club’s hierarchy.
Dawson wrote: “Sources have told ESPN that the club’s preference is to keep Solskjaer in position until at least the end of the season, but there is a growing feeling that stance would have to change if United’s place in next season’s Champions League was threatened.
“Former RB Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick is considered a viable short-term option.”
However, Romano’s information has now thrown Rangnick’s potential arrival into doubt, something United fans will no doubt be gutted about.
Not only does it quash the possibility of the much-maligned Solskajer being given the boot, but it dampens the chances of a phenomenal tactician arriving at Old Trafford.
The experienced campaigner is the forefather of the gegenpressing style that has so heavily influenced the likes of Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel and Julian Nagglsmann, and he’s widely regarded as the founder of German football’s modern-day tactical approach.
He took Schalke to the Champions League semi-finals in 2011 before moving to RB Leipzig, fulfilling the roles of both manager and sporting director, discovering players such as Timo Werner on his travels.
Rangnick is undoubtedly one of the most influential figures in 21st-century football, and United would surely benefit from his appointment, either as Solskjaer’s replacement or advisor from above. It’s a great shame to learn that United might not be able to work with him.