New Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick grateful for chat with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

German coach also talks about his long-term role at club and prospect of working with 'amazing professional' Ronaldo

Ralf Rangnick after being unveiled as Manchester United interim manager at Old Trafford on Friday, December 3, 2021. Getty
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New Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has expressed his gratitude to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, after revealing he had a long talk with the man he replaced at Old Trafford.

Rangnick, who is due to move to a consultancy role at the club at the end of the season, has also not ruled out staying on as permanent manager at the club.

The German watched Thursday’s 3-2 victory against Arsenal from the Old Trafford directors’ box and is set to take charge of his first game as interim manager at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Solskjaer was sacked last month after a series of bad results, with Michael Carrick steadying the ship as caretaker manager during an unbeaten three-game stint that saw them beat Villarreal in the Champions League, draw with table-toppers Chelsea in the Premier League and then beat Arsenal.

And Rangnick expressed his gratitude to the Norwegian for giving him the background on the group he is inheriting at United.

“We haven’t spoken about [the consultancy role] in detail in all the conversations we had with John [Murtough, football director) and also with Ed (Woodward, executive vice-chairman) but especially with John,” he said.

“I also had a long phone call with [co-chairman] Joel Glazer for more than half an hour. I also spoke with Ole last Sunday before the Chelsea game for almost two hours.

“He was very generous to spend one-and-a-half hours on the phone with me telling me all his inside details about the team.”

As for his long-term role at the club, Rangnick added: “The people with whom I have spoken so far have been very clear that we’re talking about a six-and-a-half-month 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.

“Maybe if they ask my opinion and everything goes well and we develop the team, I might even make the same recommendation to the board that I did at Leipzig twice, when I recommended it might be a good idea to keep working with me for one year.

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“But this is all hypothetical. We cannot speak about that. For me now it’s about winning the next games and this is the major focus.”

The 63-year-old is confident Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored twice against Arsenal, will flourish despite his well-documented high-pressing style.

“You always have to adapt your style or your idea of football to the players you have available, not vice versa,” Rangnick said.

“Having seen Cristiano yesterday in the second half at the age of 36, an amazing top professional. At his age, I’ve never seen a player who is still that physically fit.

“He’s still a player who can easily make the difference. So yes, it’s about how we can develop the whole team not only Cristiano.

“We play in the most competitive league in the world so we need all the players on board. What I saw from Cristiano yesterday, he is more than willing to do that, to put his input into the team. His teammates will have to do the same.”

Updated: December 03, 2021, 12:52 PM