Ralf Rangnick has been granted his work permit, allowing the German to finally begin work as Manchester United’s interim manager.
Rangnick was confirmed as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s replacement on Monday, signing a temporary deal until the end of the season before then taking on a two-year consultancy role at Old Trafford.
Issues securing a work permit meant he could not take training this week and, although he will be at United’s Premier League clash with Arsenal on Thursday night, caretaker boss Michael Carrick will be in the dugout.
Manchester United’s interim manager Ralf Rangnick has finally been granted his work permit
Rangnick will now hold his first press conference on Friday ahead of Sunday’s home match with Crystal Palace – which will be his first in charge as United manager.
The 63-year-old had to convince an FA panel of his managerial credentials in order to secure a work permit this week.
Rangnick flew into the UK on Monday night, ahead of stricter Covid restrictions coming into place hours later, and is believed to be staying at a Manchester hotel.
It is understood that Rangnick did not meet the FA’s criteria for a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) because he had not managed a top-flight club in Europe for long enough in the last five years — either two years consecutively or three years cumulatively.
Although Rangnick twice took charge of RB Leipzig in the 2015-16 and 2018-19 seasons while also working as the club’s director of football, that was not enough to qualify automatically for a GBE — as Antonio Conte did when taking over at Tottenham a month ago because of his recent stints at Inter Milan and Chelsea.
Caretaker boss Michael Carrick will remain in charge for Arsenal clash on Thursday night
United sources argued that Rangnick had held other senior roles at RB Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow but, technically, he had not worked enough in this period as a manager.
His GBE needed to be approved by a three-man exceptions panel appointed by the FA, and chaired by a legal professional and two other figures with a background in football, before he could be granted a work permit by the Home Office.
Rangnick was pictured getting a tour of Old Trafford earlier this week after his Covid quarantine came to an end. The German was spotted by United fan Oliver Hunt, who was also on a tour of the stadium on Wednesday.
United’s football director John Murtough appeared to be giving Rangnick the guided tour with the coach stopping to chat to former defender Wes Brown as he made his way around the pitch.
Speaking in a press conference ahead of the Arsenal game, Carrick, who took up caretaker reins after Solskjaer was sacked last month, said he hasn’t yet spoken to Rangnick.
Rangnick was spotted taking a tour of Old Trafford accompanied by director John Murtough
The German coach took time out to speak to former United defender Wes Brown pitchside
Carrick denied at the weekend that Rangnick had any input into his team selection or tactics in the draw at Chelsea, and it’s understood that the new manager was not allowed to do so without a work permit.
‘Because of the process and work permit, we haven’t been able to (speak),’ said Carrick. ‘We’ve carried on. It’s worked well the last two games and hopefully will tomorrow.
‘Literally, I haven’t really got anything to update you on other than the work permit process is ongoing as we speak and I’m in the position as I was for Villarreal and Chelsea getting the boys ready for the game tomorrow night.
‘A lot has happened, in the last week to 10 days. I’ve had to certainly adapt and take on a new challenge and different kind of skill-set.
‘I’ve kind of enjoyed seeing how I’ve come out of my comfort zone and things I haven’t tackled before. It’s something you’ve got to learn on the job but for the most part I’ve enjoyed it.’
The Old Trafford showdown with the Gunners is already pivotal in the race for Champions League football with Arsenal one point behind fourth-place West Ham with a game in hand.
United’s clash with Arsenal looks to be pivotal in the race for Champions League football
United are five points behind the Gunners and need to turn their season around quickly to have any chance of finishing in the top four.
After Rangnick’s arrival was confirmed on Monday, United announced that Carrick and the rest of Solskjaer’s backroom team — assistant Mike Phelan, coach Kieran McKenna and goalkeeper coach Richard Hartis — will be staying at the club.
Rangnick will be allowed to bring in a small number of coaching staff, although his trusted video analyst Lars Kornetka is staying at Lokomotiv Moscow to replace him as director of sports and development.
United expressed their gratitude for the Russian club’s co-operation after it emerged that they did not have to pay compensation to release Rangnick from the remaining two-and-a-half years of his contract.
The former Schalke, Hoffenheim and Leipzig coach has been offered a two-year consultancy role at United beyond the end of this season, although it is understood that he could land the manager’s job on a permanent basis if results go well.