In pictures: Man Utd v West Ham
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Manchester United have reportedly placed their managerial search on hold in order to take a close look at interim boss Ralf Rangnick. The former RB Leipzig tactician, who has provided inspiration for compatriots Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel due to his influence on German football, is now set to be handed an audition for the permanent role beyond this season.
Upon arrival at Old Trafford, the board made it clear to Rangnick that he was only being appointed to steady the ship until the end of the campaign.
Beyond that, he would move upstairs into a consultancy role on a two-year contract.
However, Rangnick made it clear he felt this was a chance to impress, something he’d experienced before during his time at Leipzig after stepping into the hot-seat mid-season.
He said during his unveiling as United interim boss: “The people with whom I’ve spoken so far have been very clear we are talking about six-and-a-half months role as a manager, currently. We have never spoken about what will happen in the summer.
“Right now, I’m fully aware they might be looking for a new manager. If they will then speak with me about that, we will see.
“Maybe, if they ask me for my opinion, and, as you say, everything goes well, we develop the team, I might even make the same recommendation to the board that I made at Leipzig twice when I recommended to them it might be a good idea to keep working with me for one year.
“But this is all hypothetical, we cannot speak about it. For me, now, it’s about winning the next games and this is the major focus.”
However, The Sun are now reporting that United have placed their manager search on hold due to the recent progress of Rangnick, who has won five of his eight Premier League matches in charge.
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Although the football has hardly been eye-catching, there is an appreciation that Rangnick inherited a troubled team in turmoil following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Slowly but surely, Rangnick has overseen progress with United now on course to challenge Tottenham and Arsenal for the top-four.
The side’s last-gasp winner against West Ham last weekend was a throwback to the days of Sir Alex Ferguson when United would not lie down until the final whistle.
Furthermore, Rangnick has also shown his character as manager by standing firm against Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese superstar was subbed against Brentford.
United have also started to keep more clean sheets under his leadership, four in their last 10 matches.
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The Red Devils have been casting an eye over the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Erik ten Hag and Brendan Rodgers ahead of a potential appointment this summer.
Yet all of those bosses are currently tied down to long-term contracts with their clubs.
Furthermore, Pochettino and Rodgers’ stock appears to have fallen in recent months, something that could see United reconsider their next move.
Leicester are currently 10th in the Premier League table having lost more games (eight) than they’ve won (seven) after last season’s fifth-place finish.
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