Lokomotiv Moscow chairman breaks silence with Ralf Rangnick set for Man Utd move

Rangnick is set to appointed as interim manager of Manchester United until the end of the season, just six months after joining Lokomotiv Moscow as head of sports and development

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  • 10:07, 26 Nov 2021
  • Updated10:49, 26 Nov 2021
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Lokomotiv Moscow chairman Alexander Plutnik has broken his silence on the reports that Ralf Rangnick is set to be appointed as interim manager of Manchester United.

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It emerged on Thursday that the German was close to moving to Old Trafford until the end of the season, before taking up a consultancy role with the Premier League giants.

Known as the godfather of modern coaching, Rangnick spent eight years as director of football of Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig, with two stints as manager of the latter.

After handing the Leipzig managerial reigns over to Julian Nagelsmann, Rangnick was promoted to the position of head of sport and development for all Red Bull-owned clubs worldwide.

He spent two years in that role before joining Lokomotiv Moscow as head of sports and development in July.

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Alexander Plutnik has broken his silence on Ralf Rangnick's decision to leave Lokomotiv Moscow for Man Utd

When he was appointed to that role, Lokomotiv hailed the German as “one of the best specialists in the world in football education and development of players”.

Rangnick was given responsibility for strategic planning, sports development, the academy and creating a pathway for young players.

He spent the next few months brining in a team of leading specialists to fill roles throughout the club as part of a long-term project.

But that project has been cut short after just six months, with Rangnick hastily departing the Russian capital for Manchester.

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The German has been blasted for making that decision by many connected to his soon-to-be former club.

But the man who brought him to the RZD Arena, Lokomotiv chairman Plutnik, does not agree with their assessment.

Instead, he has insisted that the club’s management team will carry on the work that Rangnick started and continue to implement his strategy.

“Things are good! We are now focused on the game,” he told Sport-Express ahead of Thursday night’s visit of Lazio in the Europa League.

Rangnick spent just six months at Lokomotiv
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Image:
DANIEL KOPATSCH/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

“We will think after the match. Will the strategy be implemented if Rangnick leaves? Everything will be fine!”

Lokomotiv were comfortably defeated by the Serie A side and have now been knocked out of the competition having failed to win a game.

Boss Markus Gisdol was only appointed by Rangnick in October and fortunes are better for Lokomotiv in the Russian Premier League, where they sit fourth.

Rangnick’s departure is a serious blow to the Moscow club though, who have not won the Russian top-flight for three years.

United are expected to confirm his appointment as interim boss imminently, though Michael Carrick is set to remain in caretaker charge for the trip to Chelsea on Sunday.

Once his work permit is granted and the contract signed, Rangnick could be in place for the visit of Arsenal in the Premier League next Thursday night.

Lokomotiv meanwhile travel to Arsenal Tula on Monday and it is as yet unknown if they will bring in a new head of sport and development to replace the departing Rangnick.

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