how the deal emerged, from first phone call to make-up of backroom staff – The Athletic

For all the names linked with taking over as Manchester United manager since the starting gun on speculation was sounded by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal, internally at Old Trafford one figure always hovered above the rest.

Ralf Rangnick has long been held in high regard by John Murtough and the first call United’s football director placed in pursuit of a successor to Solskjaer was to the 63-year-old German.

Murtough rang Rangnick on Sunday after United announced Solskjaer’s departure, for a chat with the football innovator about the possibility of moving from Moscow to Manchester.

United had first made background checks over Rangnick’s situation at Lokomotiv Moscow, where he was head of sports and development, in the wake of the defeat to Manchester City on November 6. A week after that chastening performance against Pep Guardiola’s team, intermediaries were tasked with ascertaining whether Rangnick could get out of the job in Russia he took on in July. Solskjaer’s status was under threat.

United only made direct contact once a decision to change managers had been taken after the loss at Watford, and following the conversation with Murtough, Rangnick also received calls from the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and managing director Richard Arnold.

Positive discussions prompted Rangnick to take a flight to England on Tuesday, for face-to-face talks with United’s hierarchy at the club’s London offices in Mayfair.

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