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‘Huge influence’ – Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel praises Ralf Rangnick ahead of Manchester United appointment


Ralf Rangnick is set to take charge of Manchester United on an interim basis (Picture: Getty)

Thomas Tuchel has opened up on the ‘huge influence’ Ralf Rangnick has had on his career both as a player and coach as his fellow countryman prepares to take charge at Manchester United.

Rangnick – who managed and gave Tuchel his first coaching gig at SSV Ulm – is expected to be announced as United’s interim boss in the next 24 to 48 hours following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal.

The club must first wait for the Home Office to allocate a time for a work-permit application as discussions with Lokomotiv Moscow – where Rangnick is currently head of sports and development – near a conclusion.

Rangnick is regarded as the ‘godfather of gegenpressing’ back home in his native Germany and is viewed as a mentor by a host of top managers including the likes of Jurgen Klopp, Ralph Hasenhuttl, Julian Nagelsmann and Tuchel.

The 63-year-old will no doubt be itching to put the Red Devils’ underperforming squad through their paces, but caretaker boss Michael Carrick will be in the dugout away to Premier League leaders Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.

After just one win in five in the English top flight, Rangnick and United will look to the side’s midweek Champions League victory over Villarreal for a source of encouragement.

Rangnick was viewed as a mentor by a young Tuchel (Picture: Getty)

Tuchel remains reluctant to comment on the speculation surrounding Rangnick’s arrival given it’s not yet official, but hailed the tremendous impact his compatriot has had on his own career at his pre-match press conference.

‘He helped me a lot because he was my coach and then he was one of the main figures to convince me to try coaching so he had a huge influence on all of us at this time,’ the Chelsea head coach said.

‘He showed us it’s not necessary to follow people to the toilet in football games because that was the belief in these days, that the defenders follow the strikers wherever they go. He showed us it’s possible to defend everybody in a zone.

‘But listen, before I get carried away and talk too much, he is not appointed yet and let’s respect everybody.

‘Let’s respect Ralf and the club’s decision and when things are done then you can maybe talk about it.’

Chelsea are three points clear at the top of the Premier League table (Picture: Getty)

Liverpool head coach Klopp, speaking at his press conference earlier this afternoon, joked that United were ‘unfortunately’ making a very shrewd move by bringing in Rangnick as their manager until the end of the season.

‘So it’s a bit tricky, usually we don’t talk about things that are not confirmed yet but if you tell me it will happen then I might believe you,’ Klopp told reporters ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Southampton.

‘Yeah, unfortunately a good coach is coming to England, that’s how it is, to Manchester United.

‘He’s obviously a really, really experienced manager. He built most famously two clubs from nowhere to proper threats and proper forces in Germany with Hoffenheim and Leipzig.

‘He’s done a lot of different jobs in football but always his first concern was being a coach actually, being a manager, and that’s what his best skill is obviously.

‘United will be organised, I think, on the pitch. I think we should realise that and that’s obviously not good news for other teams.

‘But like all coaches in the world, we need time to train with our teams and Ralf will pretty quickly realise he has no time to train because they play all the time so that makes it a bit trickier for him.

‘But apart from that a really good man and an outstanding coach, if it happens, will come to England.’

Klopp believes Rangnick’s arrival is ‘not good news’ for United’s rivals (Picture: Getty)

Asked to expand on Rangnick’s reputation in Germany and their personal relationship, Klopp added: ‘Between the coaches he is very highly regarded obviously.

‘Where he was, he did incredible jobs. It started early as a very, very young man at Stuttgart coaching the second team, going from there.

‘I don’t know all the early clubs he had but I’m pretty sure he went to Ulm and brought them to the Bundesliga which was absolutely insane at that time and then made his way up from there.

‘We faced each other for the first time really when I was a really young coach and he was at Hannover.

‘He might have forgotten that but they played always our opponent a week later so he called me the young manager of Mainz and asked plenty of questions.

‘I was happy that big Ralf Rangnick was calling me but he got all the information he needed and they got promoted and we didn’t so he owes me still something and apart from that in the football world in Germany he is very, very well regarded and rightly so.’


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