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    Sunday, May 29, 2022

    Rangnick Cancels Consultancy Contract with Man United

    Ralf Rangnick has left his role as consultant at Manchester United to focus on the demands of the Austria head coach job, the club has announced.

    Rangnick was meant to remain at United in a consultancy capacity following the appointment of Erik ten Hag as manager this summer. He was due to work six days a month for the next two years overseeing the club’s progress.

    But following a conversation with the board following the end-of-season defeat to Crystal Palace, Rangnick and the club had agreed to scrap that arrangement.

    “We would like to thank Ralf Rangnick for his efforts as interim manager over the past six months,” a United statement read. “By mutual agreement, Ralf will now focus solely on his new role as manager of the Austria national team and will not therefore be taking up a consultancy role at Old Trafford.

    “We would like to wish Ralf the best of luck in this next chapter of his career.”

    Rangnick confirmed his exit at an Austria national team press conference on Sunday, saying: “We have come to the conclusion that it is better for me and the club to concentrate fully on the Austrian national team.

    “I cancelled the consultancy contract.”

    Rangnick leaves Old Trafford after a disappointing tenure as interim manager, during which time he was been vocal about the changes he believes are required at the club.

    He joined as something of a temporary saviour in the wake of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking last autumn. But Rangnick’s commitment was questioned by some supporters following the announcement he intended to combine his club consultancy next season with managing Austria.

    A reputation tarnished?

    Rangnick was meant to revive United’s crumbling season. When he arrived at the club back in late November, the objective was clear: steady the ship and navigate towards a top-four finish.

    And he was generally well accepted. An astute “student” of the game, they said, who had a wonderful football philosophy that had helped RB Leipzig compete in the Bundesliga.

    But the stability United’s hierarchy craved never really come to fruition. The scale of the task at hand was laid bare in his first Champions League match in charge of the Red Devils, when an impish Young Boys side had the better of a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

    A month later and the home defeat to Wolves proved another backwards step just as Rangnick thought he was making progress. By February the interim boss was blaming his players for their inability to convert chances. Two months later and the finger was pointed at their apparent lack of effort.

    If fans thought the United players had downed tools in Solskjaer’s final weeks in charge, then what must they have thought of the final two games of the season – a disastrous 4-0 loss at Brighton followed by the 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace.

    Rangnick won just three of his last 14 games in charge of United – and one of those was a needlessly tense 3-2 victory over rock-bottom Norwich.

    It was this run that exposed the tensions between the clubs new figurehead and its players. Having failed to deliver in the dugout, what chance was there realistically that Rangnick would hold any authority behind the scenes?

    It is understood that the Austria job caught United by surprise. Announcing it with three games still to go in the season suggested the 63-year-old was already looking for his first opportunity to jump ship.

    Whether that’s a sinking ship with Ten Hag at the helm remains to be seen. But there are structural fissures that run deep through United that Rangnick was meant to help fix. Instead, he leaves the club worse off than when he found it, a squad low on confidence, and a new manager exposed to the magnifying glass that comes with the job.

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