Ralf Rangnick took over as interim Man Utd manager in November 2021, replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford; Rangnick to stay on at Old Trafford in consultancy role until 2024
Friday 29 April 2022 11:58, UK
Ralf Rangnick is set to be announced as the next manager of Austria, but will continue in his Manchester United consultancy role until 2024.
Rangnick, 63, replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the club at the end of November, agreeing to take temporary charge of the team until the summer, before remaining in a consultancy role for two more years.
However, results have been disappointing under Rangnick, with United currently sixth in the Premier League, five points behind Arsenal in the fourth and final Champions League spot for next season as the campaign draws to a close.
Ajax manager Erik ten Hag was recently announced as United's permanent boss for next season, although Rangnick will, as planned, still stay on as a consultant. That role will encompass six days a month for the next two years, meaning the German would be able to combine the work with his Austria duties.
"What I can tell you and confirm is I will definitely continue with my consultancy role at the end of the season and for the next two years," he told Sky Sports after Thursday's 1-1 home draw with Chelsea in the Premier League.
"I'm very much looking forward to it. We haven't spoken, Erik and myself, we've spoken with the board about the contract and the profile of the job, the content of the consultancy role.
"That's why I can confirm I will continue at the end of the season."
Rangnick is Austria's preferred candidate but is yet to sign a contract, and the last few details are still being negotiated.
The Austrian FA (OFB) will hold an executive committee meeting on Friday morning, when Rangnick's potential appointment is expected to be given formal approval by board members, and an announcement could follow shortly after that.
At the beginning of the month, the OFB had to officially deny approaching Rangnick, who knows Austrian football well from his time as director of football for Red Bull Salzburg.
Austrian daily Kurier, which broke the news of Rangnick's imminent appointment on Thursday, said back then that sporting director Peter Schottel had travelled to Manchester to offer him the job.
"Clarification: There was no meeting between ÖFB sports director Peter Schottel and Ralf Rangnick, coach of Manchester United," the OFB wrote on their official Twitter feed at the time.
Austria are looking for a new boss after Franco Foda resigned from his position following their 2-0 defeat to Wales earlier this month which denied them a spot at the World Cup in Qatar.
United are yet to hold talks with Rangnick over what the 63-year-old's influence at the club might be going forward.
Sky Sports' Gary Neville on the Gary Neville Podcast:
"As Manchester United's sporting director, or consultant, can he really be going to look at Austrian players week in, week out and then selecting them for a national team?
"The Austrian national team have got pride, it's a great country with great players, so he'll have to watch them play every week. Then he's going to go and coach them two weeks in September, October, November and March.
"So then you're thinking 'what's happening to the Man United consultancy and advice? Where's the priority?' because there's a conflict there.
"I don't see how that can work because if you're a national team manager - and I've worked under a national team manager - I know that they have got to be present watching their players play week in, week out. And he can't be at Old Trafford every single week - not watching an Austrian player play.
"I don't know how that's going to work if it is something that's true.
"It's messy. Man United can't afford to have distractions at this moment in time, they can't afford to have a poor communications plan around the idea that Rangnick's the football consultant, but he's seen watching German football three times a month and then going off to coach the Austrian team.
"There needs to be laser focus, clean lines, people staying in their lanes, understanding what their jobs are and communicating to the fan base that this is a real change and different than it has been for the last 10 years."
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