Ralf Rangnick has revealed that the chance to become interim manager at Manchester United was an opportunity he felt unable to turn down - and has not ruled out staying longer than his initial six months.
Setting out his plans to transform the club to allow them to again compete with the Premier League's leading sides, Rangnick believes that Manchester United have lacked "continuity" since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
The German is regarded as a pivotal figure in the evolution of modern football, credited with developing gegenpressing and influencing managers including Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel and Julian Nagelsmann.
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The 63-year-old oversaw the expansion of Red Bull into European football at Salzburg and Leipzig, with two stints as manager of the German club included in eight years in a variety of roles at the energy drink-powered conglomerate.
Expressing a potential desire to remain as manager beyond just the six months until the end of the season, at his first press conference at Manchester United Rangnick revealed why he took the interim position at the club having turned down a similar role at Chelsea previously.
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"At the time, when Chelsea contacted me, they only talked about the option to become interim manager for four months. We're talking about six and a half months [at United] and we also have a two-year advisory role.
"If Manchester United contact you for such role then you can't turn it down.
"If they will speak about me with that [the full-time job], we will see. If they ask me about my opinion, I might make the same recommendation that I did at RB Leipzig twice, that it might be better to work with me for one year."
"The difference between us and the top three is big"
After beating Arsenal in a topsy-turvy Thursday night encounter, Manchester United have climbed to seventh in the Premier League, but remain 10 points behind Liverpool in third.
Jurgen Klopp's side are just two points behind league leaders Chelsea with Manchester City sat in between. The trio have surged clear of the rest of the Premier League, each constructed with clear identities sculpted around managers with strong presences.
While Rangnick has been appointed only until the end of the season initially, he will remain in a consultancy role beyond this season. That will allow him considerable influence over the club's future and the German expressed on debut his hope that he may begin to rebuild United, though admits that the gap to the lead triumvirate will be a tough one to close.
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"The major target for me is just to bring more balance to the team. We conceded two goals yesterday and if you look at the total of number of goals conceded, it is on average of two a game. That is just too much. Those are not the kind of games you need every day. In football to me, it's to minimise the coincidence factor.
"It's about winning games and, in the end, I'm very ambitious. We want to make the most successful season that is possible. Right now, we have to be realistic. The difference between us and the top three is big. But let's see."
"The club has had no continuity"
Manchester United have not mounted a serious title challenge since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, though did finish second under both Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer.
Rangnick outlined that the club needs to find a "new pathway", but also respect the "unique" winning DNA.
"It's not unusual that after a long, successful spell, the club needs to find a new pathway. The club has had no continuity in signing new players and sticking to the DNA of the club. In the future, the board members and my self have the same opinion. It's important not to have many changes in management.
"We haven't spoken about new players. Now is the time to get to know the current squad in detail, the squad is definitely not too small. There is enough players. Maybe after Christmas, there will be a time to talk about possible transfers in the winter. In my experience, winter is not the time for sustainable transfers. It will be difficult in the winter.
"I had a look into Google the other week about the most famous players. You could line up top four teams in the last 50 or 60 years. I also know about the disaster in Munich. The legacy of this club is unique. We have to follow this legacy and make sure the DNA will also be respected."
Rangnick will take charge of his first Manchester United game when they host Crystal Palace on Sunday December 5.
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