This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
Speaking to The Guardian, Ralph Rangnick has outlined he would only consider an approach from a side like Manchester United were he to be given full control over developing the club.
Reports in recent weeks and months have suggested the Red Devils are contemplating appointing their first-ever director of football, although comments from Ed Woodward earlier in the summer seemed to pour cold water over that potential decision.
Now, former Schalke and RB Leipzig boss Rangnick has opened the door to potentially joining United in a backroom capacity, but insisted any club he went to would have to give him considerable autonomy to implement his philosophy.
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When asked whether he would be interested in an approach from the Red Devils, Rangnick remarked: “I am happy where I am but if any club wanted to speak to me, the question would have to be: ‘Can I be somebody who can influence areas of development across the whole club?’ Otherwise you are only getting half of what I am capable of. If, after that, you can work together in a trustworthy and respectful way, then you are more likely to be successful.”
Perhaps even more than the decision to stick or twist with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United’s potential appointment of a director of football would arguably be more important. Several managers have come and gone since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure, and none of them have really made it work at Old Trafford.
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But hiring someone whose sole purpose is to streamline the club’s identity and process, and ensuring they have a strict philosophy in place would go a long way to solving the mish-mash approach the club has fallen for. Rangnick comes with considerable pedigree in his time as manager and as a sporting director for Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg. Kevin Kampl even described the 61-year-old as being “mad about the game”.
Just this season, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp hailed Rangnick for his work at Salzburg ahead of their Champions League meeting with the Austrian side, and insisted all of their success is down to him.
“The main reason is Ralf Rangnick. He’s an outstanding manager, outstanding sporting director. It’s all based on him.”
Getting an experienced, proven hand in Rangnick to fill the important role of director of football would be a major coup for United.