Arsenal considered appointing the new Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick when they were looking for a successor to Arsene Wenger.
Rangnick, 63, was confirmed as United’s interim manager on Monday and takes over from caretaker Michael Carrick. The German tactician has penned a deal until the end of the season when he will then take a two-year consultancy role with the club.
The experienced coach and director of football’s brief is to get United’ squad to “fulfil their potential”.
He will have an influence on the club’s next permanent manager and after that he will support “the club’s longer-term goals on a consultancy basis”.
Rangnick has 40 years of coaching experience and has been at a number of clubs including Suttgart, Schalke, Hoffenheim and Leipzig. While his recent role was an executive role with Lokomotiv Moscow.
But it could have been different had Arsenal taken further steps to appoint him in 2018.
Sky Sports reported that Rangnick was on the “short-list” to replace Wenger.
The Gunners were looking for a figurehead to replace the legendary Wenger and Rangnick was recommended to them.
Wenger’s assistants at the time Jens Lehmann was an “advocate” of Rangnick’s.
While there was another German connection at The Emirates, because Arsenal Academy coach, Per Mertesacker was given his debut by Rangnick at Hannover as a 19-year old.
The outlet stated the “two remain friends” but Arsenal ignored the Backnang-born coach and instead opted for Unai Emery.
Emery was appointed in May 2018 and lasted 18 months after a ill-fated spell at the helm. He guided the Gunners to a Europa League final and a fifth-placed finish in his first season. But he was sacked in November 2019 with the Gunners in eighth place in the Premier League table.
Carrick in charge against Arsenal
That left Rangnick to continue his role with RB Leipzig, where he instilled a style of play and helped them up the leagues of German football.
Arsenal travel to Old Trafford on Thursday night and Rangick will watch from the stands.
Carrick will again be in charge of United, Rangnick may well have some input.
Carrick said he had not spoken to the new manager. However, he is willing to learn from the German tactician.
“You always have your own ideas, whether it be a player or a coach. As an individual, there’s certain things you prefer or that come natural to you,” he said on Wednesday.
“I’m always prepared to learn, I’ve learnt an awful lot this week and learnt on the job.
“But I’ve been pretty close in seeing what goes on close hand over recent years so it’s been a step, but not as much as people think.”