Ralf Rangnick Backed In To 1/16 To Become Manchester United Manager

Manchester United are expected to appoint former RB Leipzig manager Ralf Rangnick as their interim manager on a short-term deal until the end of the season. 

Oddsmakers have slashed the odds on Rangnick taking over at Old Trafford to as short as 1/16 with Paddy Power after a number of reports from reputable sources all but confirmed the deal.

The 63-year-old signed a three-year contract to become Manager of Sports and Development for Russian Premier League club FC Lokomotiv Moscow in July of this year, but is now set to make his return to management for the first time since 2019.

A highly rated coach that is credited by many with the initial development of Gegenpressing, Rangnick has only been a manager for two seasons in the last decade having taken various roles upstairs within the Red Bull football operations.

He was appointed director of football for both RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg in June 2012 before twice returning to manage the former for a single season in 2015 and 2018. In 2019, he was promoted to Head of Sport and Development for Red Bull GmbH.

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Michael Carrick is set to take charge of the team this weekend as Rangnick waits for clearance on a work permit as they take on Chelsea in a huge test at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon. Carrick guided the team to a 2-0 win over Villarreal in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Should the deal be completed as imminently as most expect, the German’s first game in charge will likely be against Arsenal at Old Trafford on Thursday night in what could be a crucial game in the race for fourth place. 

Rangnick inherits a team that is currently six points adrift of fourth-placed West Ham United in the Premier League table and that has lost four of their last five league games. 

Will Rangnick Be A Good Fit?

One thing that was routinely thrown at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during his tenure as United boss was a lack of identity in the way his team played. Watching them from week-to-week there were no outstanding emerging patterns of play, both with and without the ball and they looked to be reliant on moments rather than a set structure and system to break teams down.

The same can’t be said about their rivals. Liverpool look to blitz and overwhelm teams. With Manchester City it’s death by a thousand cuts. Chelsea are extremely regimented under Thomas Tuchel and dominate all areas of the pitch in their 3-4-3 with two number 10s.

In moving from Solskjaer to Rangnick the club have moved to the polar opposite end of the identity spectrum. Rangnick’s teams have a very similar style and pattern of play; they are extremely direct and look to play vertically with a high tempo, winning back possession as quickly as possible after losing it.

It is a high risk, high reward style that has been adopted by a number of Germany’s top coaching products such as Tuchel, Jurgen Klopp and Julian Nagelsmann. It is somewhat surprising given his reputation in the game that Rangnick hasn’t had a job managing an elite club with a similar stature to United in his career and his management style doesn’t necessarily represent a quick fix.

However, with the structure of the United hierarchy appearing to be in a state of transition, there is the feeling that Rangnick could be set for a role upstairs come the end of the season when a permanent manager is appointed. It may be giving the United board too much credit, but Rangnick’s footballing philosophy could also be used to make the transition smoother for the next incoming manager. Say, Mauricio Pochettino?

His ideas are similar to Rangnick, being based around high energy, high pressing football and the Harlem Globetrotter-esque Paris Saint-Germain squad he currently has at his disposal is the antithesis of that. They were well beaten by Champions League favourites Manchester City 2-1 in midweek where their shortcomings out of possession were scandalously exposed. 

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What will be fascinating to see is how Cristiano Ronaldo features in his short-term plans. His reluctance to press without the ball has been well documented this season and, on paper, Edinson Cavani would appear to be a more natural fit to the way that the German would ideally want to play. 

A short-term deal will likely suit both sides in this case. United need a safe pair of hands that can restore structure and authority from the touchline, while Rangnick is at a point in his career where it doesn’t appear that management is necessarily at the top of his list. He has his own consulting company and has worked with clubs, federations and sporting directors.

Things are never dull at Old Trafford and there will be a level of expectancy about their fortunes between now and the end of the season given Rangnick’s glowing reputation.

Next Manchester United Manager Odds

  • Ralf Rangnick – 1/16
  • Mauricio Pochettino – 14/1
  • Lucien Favre – 25/1
  • Rudi Garcia – 25/1
  • Ernesto Valverde – 25/1
  • Michael Carrick – 25/1
  • Laurent Blanc – 33/1
  • Erik ten Hag – 40/1
  • Zinedine Zidane – 40/1
  • Luis Enrique – 50/1
  • Brendan Rodgers – 50/1
  • Joachim Low – 50/1
  • Graham Potter – 50/1
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About Dean Carr

Dean is a sports betting writer specialising in match previews and betting strategy for football and UK horse racing. Dean has a wide range of expertise, including betting previews, recommendations, tactics, and betting psychology.