Ralf Rangnick has been confirmed as Austria’s new manager on a two-year contract, with the Manchester United interim manager staying on at Old Trafford in a consultancy role.
In a press conference by the Austrian FA, Rangnick was appointed the new national team manager until 2024, with a clause inserted into the contract which states that the deal will be renewed for another two years if the country qualifies for Euro 2024.
Rangnick was quoted by the Austrian FA website as saying: “It’s an honour for me to take on the role of team boss. I’m particularly excited about the prospect of contesting the European Championships in Germany with a young team hungry for success.”
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The 63-year-old replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at United at the end of November, agreeing to take temporary charge of the team until the summer, before remaining in a consultancy role.
However, results have been disappointing under Rangnick, with United currently sixth in the Premier League, five points behind Arsenal in the fourth and final Champions League spot for next season as the campaign draws to a close.
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Ajax manager Erik ten Hag was recently announced as United’s permanent boss for next season, although Rangnick will, as planned, still stay on as a consultant. That role will encompass six days a month for the next two years, meaning the German would be able to combine the work with his Austria duties.
“I’m very much looking forward to it,” said Rangnick, when asked about his United consultancy role. “We haven’t spoken, Erik and myself, we’ve spoken with the board about the contract and the profile of the job, the content of the consultancy role.”
Ralf Rangnick says the priority for his new consultancy role with Manchester United will be to recruit the best possible players for the team.
Ranginck’s predecessor as Austria manager, Franco Foda, resigned from his position following their 2-0 defeat to Wales earlier this month which denied them a spot at the World Cup in Qatar.
Neville: I don’t know how dual roles would work
Sky Sports’ Gary Neville on the Gary Neville Podcast:
“As Manchester United’s sporting director, or consultant, can he really be going to look at Austrian players week in, week out and then selecting them for a national team?
“The Austrian national team have got pride, it’s a great country with great players, so he’ll have to watch them play every week. Then he’s going to go and coach them two weeks in September, October, November and March.
“So then you’re thinking ‘what’s happening to the Man United consultancy and advice? Where’s the priority?’ because there’s a conflict there.
Gary Neville has praised Cristiano Ronaldo, describing him as ‘a sensation’ after he scored another important goal in Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea.
“I don’t see how that can work because if you’re a national team manager – and I’ve worked under a national team manager – I know that they have got to be present watching their players play week in, week out. And he can’t be at Old Trafford every single week – not watching an Austrian player play.
“I don’t know how that’s going to work if it is something that’s true.
“It’s messy. Man United can’t afford to have distractions at this moment in time, they can’t afford to have a poor communications plan around the idea that Rangnick’s the football consultant, but he’s seen watching German football three times a month and then going off to coach the Austrian team.
“There needs to be laser focus, clean lines, people staying in their lanes, understanding what their jobs are and communicating to the fan base that this is a real change and different than it has been for the last 10 years.”
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