A new era is beginning at Manchester United. After the decision to sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the club started the search for an interim manager at the same time as the biggest names preferred by the board. Mauricio Pochettino has always been Manchester United's plan A, but Paris Saint-Germain have never shown signs of letting him go mid-season.
Additionally, there was no chance to convince Zinedine Zidane - who is happy with his private life right now - to take on a new job in the Premier League in the middle of the season. Erik ten Hag and Brendan Rodgers are two other managers that Manchester United greatly appreciate, but the two tacticians will remain on the list alongside Pochettino (in first position) for the 2022-2023 season.
Ralf Rangnick is the man who will start the new cycle at Manchester United. The first contact took place a week ago on Sunday, after which a meeting took place a day later when Rangnick indicated that he was skeptical about taking on the job on an interim basis. The German manager likes to work on long-term projects and not just for a few months, but Manchester United turned the tide in their favor by offering him a consultancy role from June 2022 to June 2024. From new purchases to contract extensions, Rangnick is likely to be involved in all sporting decisions.
In reality, Ralf would like to remain as Manchester United manager for many years, but this is a decision the club will make at the end of the season. In the meantime, though, he will take on the job on an interim basis for six months and will also stay at the club as a consultant for two more years.
His impact at Manchester United will be total and in many areas of the club. Ralf will, first of all, think as a coach and look to make important choices with regard to the players he has at his disposal with the aim of bringing the club back to the Premier League top four at the end of the season. In fact, some bonuses will be included in his contract to increase his salary in case of goals achieved.
Additionally, Manchester United will immediately use his ideas and advice for the most important decisions. Some contracts, such as those of Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba, are urgent situations that need to be addressed, while Luke Shaw's contract, which is set to expire in 2023, will also be a topic of discussion.
Manchester United looking to kickstart new era with Ralf Rangnick
Rangnick will also help Manchester United in recruiting new talent. From Naby Keita to Erling Haaland, his work with spotting excellent young players for the Red Bull group in recent years is held in high regard in the world of football. This aspect fascinates the English club a lot and Rangnick himself has always dreamed of working in the Premier League.
Rangnick will also be involved with the club's board to decide the next Manchester United manager. He must be a coach capable of communicating with Rangnick himself, ready to share his football ideas, have the will to believe in the youngsters without giving up the main leaders and deploy a modern brand of football with an important pressure to get to results. Ralf's opinion as a 'consultant' will be very important unless the Manchester United job is offered to him permanently next June.
Many players are already excited about the chance to work with a highly regarded international manager like Rangnick, while others are waiting to learn about his methods to understand how they will be applied to the stars of the team.
My personal opinion is very clear - it was not easy for Manchester United to find a solution at the end of November after Solskjaer's farewell. The missed opportunity with Antonio Conte was a real shame because he would have been the perfect man for this team. But Rangnick's vision is unique in world football and the choice to proceed with him, rather than other coaches more linked to the 'present' such as Ernesto Valverde or Lucien Favre, means the Red Devils believe in a long-term project.
Vision is something Manchester United have been missing for too long in daily choices, transfer market moves and many other determining factors for a club of such stature. One aspect will be fundamental: support for Rangnick. His ideas have been brilliant over the years, but to initiate major changes and revolutions, everyone's support is needed, from the board to the team. All in one direction. Only in this way can the fascinating choice to appoint Rangnick become a success.