Ralf Rangnick was Manchester United’s overwhelming choice to take over as interim manager after making a huge impression during an interview for which he had less than 24 hours to prepare.
The former RB Leipzig, Schalke and Hoffenheim coach, one of the most influential voices in German coaching over the last few decades, has agreed to a six-month contract with United until the end of the season and a further two years in a consultancy role.
Formal completion of a deal is still subject to Lokomotiv Moscow – where Rangnick is head of sports and development – agreeing to release him from the three-year contract he signed with the Russian club in July, and a work permit being granted.
Rangnick, 63, was offered the chance to succeed Frank Lampard on a temporary basis in January before Thomas Tuchel took charge at Stamford Bridge but he turned down the opportunity because he was not keen on a short-term post.
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However, the offer of a consultancy position that will keep him at Old Trafford beyond the end of this season and, with it, the chance to play a longer-term role in shaping United’s future is understood to have had a huge bearing on his decision.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was sacked as United manager on Sunday after a 4-1 defeat at Watford, was given the permanent job at Old Trafford only four months after succeeding Jose Mourinho as interim in December 2018.
Questions will inevitability be asked about whether Rangnick could also net the job on a permanent basis if he succeeds over the coming months but United are still focused on hiring an external candidate for that role as things stand. Mauricio Pochettino, the Paris Saint-Germain head coach, remains very interested but is expected to be one of a number of candidates under consideration.