Manchester United have reportedly shelved plans to appoint former Red Devils midfielder Mike Phelan as the club’s new manager. The Scot, who is currently out of football, will instead take on a role in overseeing academy and scouting operations.
Ralf Rangnick is Manchester United’s outstanding candidate as Carrick plans are shelved. The German manager has been linked with the job for a few months now, but it looks like he will be taking over soon. This comes after Jose Mourinho was sacked and Ryan Giggs was given interim charge of the club.
Manchester United had intended to wait until the middle of December to make a breakthrough with Ralf Rangnick, according to ESPN’s Insider Notebook. PLUS: The Old Trafford misfits who may be given another opportunity under the temporary manager.
Jump to: Manchester United’s periphery players put their leaving plans on hold | Gerrard, AI, and a Villa masterplan | Barcelona fear Premier League interest in Araujo | Klopp interested in Juventus’ Ramsey | Chelsea unconcerned with Mount’s departure speculations
Rangnick is promptly secured by United.
According to ESPN, Manchester United scrapped plans to give caretaker manager Michael Carrick up to six more games in charge after Ralf Rangnick emerged as the best contender during interviews for the club’s interim manager.
Carrick was instructed to expect to stay in charge for longer than anticipated, with the club originally targeting Brighton at home on Dec. 18 as the date for an interim to be hired, only promising to speed up procedures if a great candidate surfaced. Rangnick has agreed to take over until the end of the season after talks with the 63-year-old, who is poised to quit his role as sports director at Lokomotiv Moscow, broke down.
– Exclusive interview with ESPN: Rangnick – Watch ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (available in the United States only) – Don’t have ESPN? Get immediate access
Carrick, who will take charge of United’s trip to Premier League leaders Chelsea on Sunday, has the backing of the United leadership to guide the club through a difficult schedule. Following a 2-0 victory against Villarreal on Tuesday to earn Champions League knockout status, Chelsea travels to Stamford Bridge for the first of six games in 16 days. Despite facing criticism — even ridicule — for the way they handled events after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s firing, the club wanted to wait longer before appointing an interim manager.
According to sources, “market forces” forced United to pursue the strategy, claiming that the club was not in the same position as Liverpool and Chelsea when they appointed Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, respectively, with both coaches out of work and available when changes in the managerial department at Anfield and Stamford Bridge.
As the team undertook a comprehensive search for a caretaker manager, football director John Murtough spoke with former Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde and Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui. According to sources close to Rangnick, he first dismissed the notion of working for United, but a breakthrough occurred when a consulting position was offered as part of the transaction. Murtough’s job at United in recent years has included establishing relationships with significant individuals in European football, and he has a solid working connection with Rangnick, with the two meeting in 2019 to discuss football development goals.
Mauricio Pochettino was the club’s first option for the permanent role, but that decision was decided before Rangnick arrived. Rangnick’s advising position once the temporary management job finishes has not been disclosed, but insiders say he is anticipated to play a key part in selecting Solskjaer’s permanent replacement. ‘Mark Ogden’
Manchester United will be led by Ralf Rangnick. Getty Images/TF-Images/TF-Images/TF-Images/TF-Images/TF-Images/TF-Images/TF
Van van Beek’s second opportunity, Martial
According to ESPN, Donny van de Beek and Anthony Martial have put their January transfer plans on hold due to Rangnick’s impending arrival.
Following Solskjaer’s departure, caretaker manager Carrick was eager to underline to the team that everyone has a clean slate, and Van de Beek and Martial were buoyed by their selection for the 2-0 victory against Villarreal, but will now re-evaluate their choices ahead of Rangnick taking over. Despite interest from a number of other teams, they prefer to find regular games at Old Trafford, and the two will wait six weeks to see how they fit in before choosing whether or not to pursue a transfer.
Jesse Lingard’s future is still up in the air, with the midfielder free to talk to foreign teams in January once his contract with Manchester United expires at the end of the season. Rangnick, on the other hand, bases his coaching philosophy on high energy and high pressing — he is known in Germany as the “Godfather of Gegenpressing,” and Klopp credits him with influencing his career — a stance that fits Lingard’s style of play and could give him one last chance to prove himself.
United are desperate to retain the majority of their team intact, particularly after qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages, which begin in the new year. The round of 16 draw will take place on December 13th.
United’s FA Cup campaign will begin in January, but the club’s dismal start to the season under Solskjaer has placed the emphasis on the second half of the season as the club aims to finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League next season. Rob Dawson’s comment
Steven Gerrard’s switch from Rangers to Aston Villa makes a lot of sense, according to Julien Laurens.
At Villa, Gerrard has a new signing: artificial intelligence.
According to ESPN, Steven Gerrard is trying to make an Artificial Intelligence tool his first signing as Aston Villa manager.
After leaving Scottish champions Rangers to begin his Premier League managerial career at Villa Park, Gerrard made an immediate effect by leading the squad to a 2-0 victory against Brighton in his first game in charge last Saturday.
In the players’ canteen at Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training complex, the former Liverpool and England captain has left his mark by removing ketchup, fizzy drinks, and hot chocolate off the menu.
According to ESPN, he wants Villa to use the Zone7 AI injury prevention system, which was a crucial role in Rangers’ championship success last season. Simply put, teams provide their training and match data to Zone7, which analyzes it using an algorithm and sends back daily emails with information on players who may be approaching the “danger zone” in terms of injury susceptibility.
Rangers claimed a 52 percent drop in injuries last season compared to the previous campaign after signing up to the algorithm-based technology on the advise of Ibrox director of performance Jordan Milsom at the start of the 2020-21 season. Rangers also recorded a 36% decrease in injuries per match compared to the previous season, as well as a 21% decrease in days missed due to injury.
– Artificial Intelligence: How teams are using the technology to forecast injuries
Zone7’s AI software is being used by more than 50 clubs across the globe. Many people want to stay anonymous in order to safeguard any competitive edge the program could bring — football teams are famously protective of proprietary data — while others just don’t want to talk about any advantages or disadvantages they’ve found while using it. Despite ESPN’s numerous efforts to contact Real Salt Lake and Toronto, neither MLS club has answered.
According to sources, Gerrard is seeking to implement the technique at Villa as quickly as possible in order to improve his team’s fitness. ‘Mark Ogden’
Following Barcelona’s goalless draw with Benfica, ESPN FC’s Ale Moreno argues why supporters shouldn’t expect immediate results.
As Premier League teams look on, Barcelona’s Araujo is terrified.
According to ESPN, Barcelona is concerned that interest from major Premier League teams in Ronald Araujo, as well as the centre-pay back’s demands, could complicate their contract extension discussions with him.
Liverpool and Manchester United have been keeping a careful eye on Araujo’s progress, and Barcelona wants to ensure his future by offering him a five-year extension when his current contract expires in 2023.
However, reports claim that during early talks with the player, Barcelona is concerned that they may not be able to match the conditions he is seeking. Barcelona’s financial situation has worsened as LaLiga reduced their expenditure cap by another €300 million this season, and they just reported losses of €481 million for the 2020-21 season, despite a debt of over £1.3 billion.
If Barcelona decides to pursue their interest, Liverpool and Manchester United have the financial resources to outspend them. Liverpool is especially interested in Araujo, according to sources, and scouts have been watching him throughout 2021.
Barca starlets Pedri and Ansu Fati recently extended their contracts, which featured £1 billion release clauses, and the club is looking to sign midfielder Gavi and defender Araujo, two players who are regarded important under new coach Xavi Hernandez.
The team is hoping to prevent a repeat of the summer’s predicament with Ilaix Moriba. The Spanish midfielder had one year remaining on his contract and refused to sign a new one, resulting in a €16 million with add-ons move to RB Leipzig.
Araujo, 22, joined the Camp Nou in 2018 for €1.5 million plus €3 million in add-ons from Uruguayan side River Boston. — Moises Llorens and Adriana Garcia
Aaron Ramsey might make a comeback to the Premier League in the coming months. Getty Images/Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto
Klopp will be hoping to capitalize on Ramsey’s interest in Juventus.
According to ESPN, Juventus is hopeful that Jurgen Klopp’s infatuation for Aaron Ramsey would lead to a January offer from Liverpool for the midfielder.
Ramsey, 30, is under contract until 2023, although he might be released due to his inability to break into the first squad since his arrival.
According to ESPN, Klopp has always admired Ramsey and contemplated formalizing his admiration when the Wales international joined Juventus in 2019. After injuries and the summer transfer of Georginio Wijnaldum to Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool have been short on midfielders.
Ramsey has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs, including West Ham United, Crystal Palace, Newcastle United, and Leicester City, and Juventus are hoping to add Liverpool to that list in the coming weeks as the Serie A club looks for competing clubs to drive up the fee to secure the player.
Ramsey has always been motivated to make the most of his time in Serie A, but since Massimiliano Allegri took over in the summer, he has only made five appearances for 112 minutes. James Olley’s quote
After both Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner were linked with Barcelona, Craig Burley and Kay Murray explore their prospects.
Chelsea are unconcerned by Mount rumors.
Chelsea have yet to have new contract discussions with Mason Mount, but sources informed ESPN that both sides are cool about the situation, despite allegations in Spain that Real Madrid were interested in him.
It had been believed that the midfielder was dissatisfied at Stamford Bridge, particularly with his position in the team, but Mount is said to have a good connection with head coach Thomas Tuchel and is keen on achieving further success with the Blues, according to insiders.
Negotiations on a new contract have yet to begin, but the 22-year-current old’s contract has two and a half years remaining on it, and the club believes there is no urgency for the time being.
Conversations are expected to start later in the season, as Chelsea prioritizes negotiations with a number of players whose contracts expire next summer, including Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta, and Thiago Silva. James Olley’s quote
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