The Athletic exclusively revealed on Thursday that Manchester United have agreed a deal with Ralf Rangnick to become their interim manager following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday morning.
Rangnick is set to join the club until the end of the season and will have a further two years in a consultancy role. The 63-year-old is leaving his job as head of sports and development at Lokomotiv Moscow to take up the position.
Michael Carrick, meanwhile, has taken temporary charge of the first team and secured a 2-0 victory against Villarreal in their Champions League game on Tuesday evening.
Elsewhere, Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte has admitted that he is “starting to understand the situation” at the club after their dismal 2-1 Europa Conference League defeat to NS Mura.
Leicester pulled off a convincing 3-1 win over Legia Warsa while West Ham beat Rapid Vienna 2-0.
We’ll bring you all the latest news ahead of a busy Premier League weekend schedule.
Guardiola challenges City to overcome West Ham test
Manchester City could move level on points with Chelsea at the top of the Premier League tomorrow if they can overcome 4th-placed West Ham.
Previewing what could be an important fixture for the Champions League qualification hopes of both teams, Pep Guardiola has praised the progress shown by West Ham in domestic and European competitions and challenged his City players to show a level of consistency that will help them reach their goals for the 2021/22 season.
He said: “Last season they [West Ham] qualified for the Europa league. Now look what they’ve done in the Europa League and the Premier League.
“We know how difficult it will be but, at the same time, it’s a new challenge and a new opportunity to show ourselves and be consistent in our performance.
“We are incredibly happy and delighted to be in the last 16 of the Champions League. In this part of the season it is about not being far from the top of the Premier League, and especially going through in the group stage.
“I want the team to be consistent, congratulate ourselves for what we have done in this group stage – playing incredibly well in all games – and now continue our rhythm.”
Carrick hopeful that Sancho can reach potential
Jadon Sancho scored his first goal for Manchester United in their 2-0 victory over Villarreal on Tuesday evening.
Ahead of tomorrow’s game against Chelsea, Michael Carrick has spoken of his belief in Sancho going forward.
“Of course we believe in him,” Carrick said. “The potential he has got is massive. If he can keep doing the right things and keeps himself on the right track he’s got a great chance.
“I’m not surprised by what he did the other night. I’ve seen it in training. I’ve seen the spring in his step, and in his body language. There’s a little spark and hopefully, that spark gets bigger.”
Nicolas Pepe not for sale
Mikel Arteta has said Arsenal will not be entertaining any offers for club-record signing Nicolas Pepe.
The winger hasn’t had the best of times at the club so far but Arteta is keen to get him performing at ‘the level he can do’.
For a further look into Arteta’s thoughts on Pepe, The Athletic have all the details here.
The rise of Ralf Rangnick
Manchester United have agreed a deal with Ralf Rangnick to become their interim manager. The official announcement of the deal, which was exclusively revealed by The Athletic on Thursday, is expected imminently.
Want to know more about the German’s career? Take a look at The Athletic’s Raphael Honigstein’s deep dive into his story.
Manchester United will be looking to arrest a two-game losing run in the Premier League when they visit Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea tomorrow afternoon (4.30pm kick off).
United, who are set to appoint Ralf Rangnick as their new interim manager until the end of the season, will be hoping they can build on their 2-0 triumph over Villarreal in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.
The trip to Stamford Bridge will be United’s first Premier League match of the post-Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era and likely to be the latest for Michael Carrick.
With Rangnick waiting in the wings to come in, United’s players will, undoubtedly, be looking to put on a show for their soon-to-be new boss, with the German poised to be in charge against Arsenal on Thursday night at Old Trafford.
Carrick, who is currently in caretaker charge, will be hoping he can sign-off with a famous and largely unexpected victory.
Woodward ‘won’t delay’ his departure from United
United announced in April that Ed Woodward would leave the club at the end of the calendar year.
Reports have since emerged suggesting that Woodward could extend his stay at the club following Solskjaer’s sacking but the Daily Mail report the Reds’ commander in chief will leave as planned.
Woodward is Unites’s executive vice-chairman and has spent 16 years at the club.
Pundit predictions: Paul Merson fears United battering
Manchester United will be looking to build on Tuesday evening’s morale-boosting victory over Villarreal when they travel to Stamford Bridge to face league leaders Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.
United, who are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League meetings with the Blues, will be looking to build on the momentum and confidence earned from the midweek victory in Spain, which saw the Reds run out 2-0 winners, courtesy of goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho.
It was the perfect start to the post-Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era, with caretaker boss Michael Carrick overseeing a much-needed victory.
Now, Carrick, who is set to be replaced by soon-to-be new interim manager Ralf Rangnick, has the challenge of trying to arrest the Reds’ two-game losing run in the league, as well as trying to become just the second manager to have beaten Chelsea in the league this season.
Manchester United give Edinson Cavani injury update
Edinson Cavani has confirmed that he spent the international break focussing on recovering from his tendon injury.
Cavani, 34, has been plagued with injury problems since his move to United on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain last year.
The centre-forward last played for United against Atalanta in the Champions League last month and he was subsequently ruled out of the Manchester derby after that game while he was also forced to pull out of Uruguay’s squad across the international break.
Cavani has been suffering from an ongoing tendon problem all season and he reflected on his recovery over the last few weeks.
Carrick sends message to players ahead of Rangnick appointment
Michael Carrick was unable to provide an update on Ralf Rangnick’s imminent appointment as interim manager at Manchester United or clarify if he would remain at the club.
The Manchester Evening News revealed on Wednesday Rangnick was United’s preferred candidate to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on an interim basis until the end of the season and a deal was agreed on Thursday after the German rejected United’s opening offer.
Rangnick will not manage United against Premier League leaders Chelsea on Sunday, which is almost certain to be Carrick’s second and last match as caretaker manager.
Carrick, 40, joined United from Tottenham in 2006 before finishing his playing career at the club in 2018 when he joined the coaching staff. It is unclear if Rangnick will retain Carrick, fellow first-team coach Kieran McKenna and assistant manager Mike Phelan.