Ralf Rangnick will be as adamant as anyone he is not just a mere gatekeeper for Manchester United’s new permanent boss during his interim spell in charge.
The German coach looks set to be confirmed as United’s short-term replacement for the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on an initial six-month deal.
Rangnick is said to have rejected an initial offer before eventually agreeing to new terms amid United’s failed pursuit of Mauricio Pochettino.
A bid to acquire the Argentine’s services is still part of United’s thinking, with a fresh approach intended next year, while Paris Saint-Germain continue to play hardball in negotiations.
Yet while Rangnick is only stepping in to keep the seat warm, he could be well rewarded financially if his brief Old Trafford tenure proves to be a success.
The Daily Star report that the 63-year-old’s contract includes ‘huge’ bonus clauses if he is able to secure a top four finish and/or win the Champions League.
United’s recent slump has seen them slip out of the Premier League title race and down into eighth, though only six points separates them and fourth-placed West Ham – a margin Rangnick will be confident of closing.
Michael Carrick is expected to remain as part of Rangnick’s backroom team after fulfilling caretaker duties, and his first win at the helm has given his incoming boss a platform to build on in Europe.
Tuesday’s victory over Villarreal ensured United have qualified for the knockout phase of the competition and it would be foolish to completely rule them out of the running for the trophy while five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo is in their ranks.
Rangnick does have plenty of work to do, though, and will not be able to get cracking just yet, as Carrick will remain in the hotseat for United’s clash with Chelsea at the weekend while a work permit is sorted.
United have been in talks with Lokomotiv Moscow over agreeing a compensation fee for Rangnick, who has been their Head of Sports and Development since July.
Once those formalities are out of the way, Rangnick’s first port of call will be to address United’s form and implement a clear style of play – something which had been severely lacking under Solskjaer.
Rangnick is considered by many to be the innovator behind the popular ‘Gegenpressing’ tactical approach adopted by a number of clubs and managers across Europe, including Jurgen Klopp.
The Liverpool boss is just one of many coaches to have been influenced by the works of Rangnick, who has held managerial roles previously at Schalke, Hoffenheim and Red Bull Leipzig, among others.
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A big part of the appeal for Rangnick to cut short his time in Moscow and take on the project at United is the two-year agreement for him to step into a consultancy role at the club after his interim spell is concluded.
Rangnick has been pivotal in helping the Red Bull franchise become a force in global football and United’s hierarchy are now hopeful he can create a similar strategy behind the scenes to help them compete at the top table once again.
He was on a five-man shortlist drawn up by United chiefs, including Ed Woodward and John Murtough, with the former said to be ‘impressed’ by Rangnick, while the likes of Ernesto Valverde and Rudi Garcia were overlooked.