RALPH RANGNICK is building his backroom staff at Manchester United, but his search for an assistant manager continues.
Gerhard Struber – who is a close friend of Rangnick and currently head coach at New York Red Bulls – has turned down the approach, as exclusively revealed by SunSport.
Though on a more positive note, Chris Armas is set to join Rangnick’s coaching team after the American was fired as manager of Toronto FC.
New manager Rangnick has retained Mick Phelan and Kieran McKenna following the departures of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Michael Carrick.
The German celebrated his first win as Man Utd boss after Fred’s late strike gave the Red Devils victory over Crystal Palace.
Meanwhile, off the pitch the new gaffer is already putting the club’s January transfer plans in place.
SunSport can reveal United are keen on signing John McGinn to replace Paul Pogba, but the Aston Villa midfielder could cost £50m.
The Red Devils are also reportedly preparing a cheeky £47m bid for Frenkie de Jong, who cash-strapped Barcelona are keen to keep.
LATEST IN SUN BINGO AND VEGAS
Get all the latest Man Utd transfer news, gossip and updates here.
Let’s take a look at United’s next five games…
Man Utd legend Gary Neville has claimed Ben Godfrey purposely studded Arsenal star Takehiro Tomiyasu in the FACE.
He said on Sky Sports’ coverage of Everton’s 2-1 win: “As a professional, he 100% means that.
“I can see why VAR has said it is accidental, we couldn’t prove it but as a professional he meant it but I can see why it is not a red.”
EXCLUSIVE BY JORDAN DAVIES
Gerhard Struber has turned down Manchester United as their search for an assistant for Ralf Rangnick goes on.
SunSport understands Struber has decided to stay with New York Red Bulls as he does not want to drop down from head coach to assistant.
Struber told Austrian Sky Sports: “There has been a request.
“It’s no secret that Ralf Rangnick and us know and appreciate us well and appreciate very much.
“At the same time I have in New York, which also makes me look very hopefully into the future and therefore I do not want to give up with New York overnight.
“I have a longer-term contract there and still have a lot of goals with an ambitious team.”
Ralf Rangnick is set to bring a top-rated sports psychologist to Man Utd.
The Mail claims Sascha Lense has already been introduced to players at Carrington.
The former midfielder has worked with Rangnick before, at RB Leipzig and Schalke.
And he is now set to join his pal at Old Trafford.
NEVER SAY NEVILLE
Gary Neville ‘wouldn’t be against’ Manchester United extending Ralf Rangnick’s stint as manager beyond the end of the season.
He said: “Let’s say there isn’t anyone available that we would call world class that can take over the club for four years, and Ralf Rangnick has a good six months.
“I wouldn’t be against Ralf Rangnick staying on for next season as a Manchester United fan.
“However, let’s say halfway through that season a world class manager became available, which I think happened with Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) when (Mauricio) Pochettino became available when he left Spurs.
“You might think ‘if one becomes available though Ralf, that can come in for four years for the right project, maybe at that point you go up to your upstairs role and at that point a manager comes in.’
“If there is a world class manager available at the end of the season and Ralf Rangnick has done a good job, I would say then at that point, they should appoint the world class manager if that manager is available for the bigger project, which is the four-year long-term.”
WEIGHS A TON
Man United start their FA Cup journey with a cracker against Aston Villa.
Ralf Rangnick will pit his wits against Steven Gerrard to earn a place in the fourth round.
And the tie will also see Liverpool legend Gerrard in the dugout at Old Trafford.
Here’s another way United could look against Young Boys…
Donny van de Beek will be hoping for his first start under Ralf Rangnick when Man Utd face Young Boys this week.
Veteran Juan Mata could also get a rare start, as well as academy winger Anthony Elanga.
Is this how United will line up in their final Champions League group stage game?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told fans ‘I tried my best’ after a chance encounter with a group of supporters at a sushi takeaway.
Since getting his P45, Solskjaer has made the most of his extra free time and treated himself to some Japanese grub from a nearby Cheshire spot last Wednesday.
And the Athletic claims United-supporting diners thanked him for his efforts during his three years in charge at Old Trafford.
As he collected his food, Solskjaer waved to the fans and said: “I tried my best. Thanks, lads.”
Dalot also admits his transition into United’s XI has been made easier by playing alongside Portugal pals Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes.
He added: “Yeah, to be honest, it does help because we’re very spread on the pitch so we can communicate with each other and pass important messages through the team.
“But obviously the other people, the other guys talk a lot as well.
”We communicate well with each other, so we want to keep that as well everybody together but obviously it does help with the communication.”
THAT’S DA LOT
Diogo Dalot is determined to make the most of his chance to finally kick-start his Manchester United career.
He said:”I mean, there’s no secret that it’s difficult when you don’t play as much as you wanted.
“But it’s our job to get ready and I’ve been doing that for a couple months now, especially this season, and be ready when my time comes to give everything on the pitch.
“Help the team, that’s most important thing, and I’m very happy to give this momentum as well and be out there with the team.”
“It’s my job to be out there and then help the team and give my best.
“I need to show my best qualities as well. I have fantastic players that can help me inside the pitch and today was one more opportunity for me to give that.”
TEN OUT OF TEN
Man Utd have been given a boost in bringing Erik ten Hag to Old Trafford after the Ajax boss declared he is ready for the next step.
He said: “I think I’m ready for it [to move to a top foreign club].
“I would be happy to take up that challenge.
“But I’m not chasing it. If it turns out that that step will never come, I will not say that my coaching career has failed.
“But I think I have sufficient competences to take on that challenge.”
HAA LA LAND
Jamie Carragher has revealed that Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland will join him on Sky Sports for Monday Night Football.
The Man Utd-linked ace will provide analysis on Arsenal’s away clash against Everton at Goodison Park as both teams look to get back to winning ways.
Meet Chris Armas, Man Utd’s new coach who’s never worked in Europe.
He also had a horror reign at Toronto.
But Armas is being backed by Ralf Rangnick for the Red Devils.
READ MORE ABOUT UNITED’S LATEST SIGNING
Lionel Messi is already joint-favourite to retain his Ballon d’Or trophy next year.
BetVictor has the PSG star at 5/1 for the 2022 title alongside Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.
Liverpool’s Mo Salah and Man Utd’s Cristiano Ronaldo are both 6/1.
2022 Ballon d’Or odds:
- Robert Lewandowski 5/1
- Lionel Messi 5/1
- Mohamed Salah 6/1
- Cristiano Ronaldo 6/1
- Kylian Mbappe 8/1
- Erling Haaland 10/1
- Kevin De Bruyne 10/1
*Odds according to BetVictor and correct at time of writing
RON CAN RUN
Ralf Rangnick hailed Cristiano Ronaldo’s off the ball work during Manchester United’s win over Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon.
He said: “We wanted to play with two strikers, especially in the central position.”
By the way, Cristiano Ronaldo’s work off the ball, chapeau.”
RIGHT SAID FRED
Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick poked fun at Fred’s one-footedness after the Brazilian’s winner against Crystal Palace.
Rangnick said: “I had to ask my assistant coach if that was Fred’s right foot.
“I thought he could only shoot with his left. I’m happy for him, it was a beautiful goal with his weak right foot.”
Fred himself admitted: “I’m left-footed but sometimes I shoot with the right.
“It was a good ball from Mason and I just looked for goal. The most important thing was to get the win and a clean sheet in the first game of a new coach.”
Let’s take a look at United’s next five matches…
RANGNICK ON MAN UTD PRESSING
He said: “I’m more than happy. First of all, most importantly, we won the game. Second, we had a clean sheet, third I think we no doubt deserved to win, because we had control of the game.
“I suppose it [United’s possession] was more than 60 per cent, and we didn’t give them that many chances to score.
“To be honest I was positively surprised by the performance of the players. I didn’t expect us to play at that level after only one-and-a-half training days together with them.
“The first half-hour was amazing, it was high intensity, high speed, high tempo – the only thing that was missing was scoring one or two goals”.
Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick admits it’s important to fix the team’s poor clean sheet record.
Rangnick told United’s official website: “These kinds of players are always able to score goals.
“Today [against Crystal Palace] we had to have some patience but we are able to score goals so as long as we keep clean sheets – it was only the third clean sheet this season – as you say, we are always able to win.”
Barcelona have issued an ultimatum to Manchester United transfer target Ousmane Dembele, giving him until December 31 to decide on his future.
Dembele’s contract with Barca expires in June and the club needs to know whether he will commit to a new deal by New Year’s Eve.
According to Sport, negotiations between the Blaugrana and the winger have hit a snag over the player’s financial demands, while other clubs are keeping tabs on him.
The France international’s agent has already met with Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Tottenham and Juventus to discuss their offer, while Liverpool also appear to be interested.
The 24-year-old claims he wants to stay put at Barcelona but his representative hint this will only happen for the right price.
Ralf Rangnick has reportedly made his first appointment at Manchester United by recruiting Chris Armas.
The German took charge of the Red Devils last week on an interim basis until the end of the season before beginning a role as a consultant.
Michael Carrick, who assisted the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, was placed as caretaker but left the club last week after the win over Arsenal.
That left Rangnick, who led United to a victory over Crystal Palace in his first game in charge yesterday, needing to add to his staff, with the 63-year-old contacting New York Red Bulls coach Gerhard Struber regarding a role at Old Trafford.
Now ESPN’s Taylor Twellman has claimed that American Armas, 49, is joining United’s coaching team, and he could potentially be No.2.
He has been granted a work permit and will travel to England in the next few days to take up the position.
DO THE HARG YARDS
Owen Hargreaves believes Ralf Rangnick has improved Manchester United already when it comes to their press and possession.
Hargreaves said: “I thought it was really good. We said maybe squeeze the pitch, make it smaller, play to [Cristiano] Ronaldo’s strengths, and they’ve done that.
“The centre-backs have been in the middle of the pitch. Palace haven’t had much of the ball. The only issue for United is they’ve dominated but they don’t have anything to show for it.
“Considering he’s only been there for one training session, United look a lot different in terms of the press and in possession.”
VAN DE START
Manchester United have already qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League, which allows Ralf Rangnick to heavily rotate his team.
First-team stars could be handed a rest to allow bench and fringe players to get some minutes under their belt.
Just TWO who started in the 1-0 Premier League win over Crystal Palace could keep their place.
Check out the latest odds for the winner of this season’s Champions League.
Champions League winner odds (Betfair)
- Man City 3/1
- Bayern Munich 7/2
- Liverpool 11/2
- Chelsea 6/1
- PSG 6/1
- Man Utd 14/1
- Real Madrid 16/1
- Ajax 16/1
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