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Ralf Rangnick 'Happy' at RB Leipzig Amid Manchester United Director Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistOctober 17, 2019

Leipzig's German headcoach Ralf Rangnick attends the German Cup (DFB Pokal) Final football match RB Leipzig v FC Bayern Munich at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on May 25, 2019. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP) / DFB REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND QUASI-VIDEO.        (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
ODD ANDERSEN/Getty Images

RB Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick has said he's happy at the German club amid rumours he could leave to join Manchester United in a similar role. 

The Guardian's Ben Lyttleton recently interviewed Rangnick and asked whether he would be interested in taking up a director of football position at Old Trafford, to which he replied:

"I am happy where I am, but if any club wanted to speak to me, the question would have to be: 'Can I be somebody who can influence areas of development across the whole club?' Otherwise you are only getting half of what I am capable of. If, after that, you can work together in a trustworthy and respectful way, then you are more likely to be successful."

It's clear the 61-year-old wants wide-spanning influence anywhere he works, having developed a successful formula in recent years at Leipzig and their sister club, Red Bull Salzburg.

The two organisations have benefited from the backing provided by their links to the Red Bull energy drink empire. Their system of improving players via a recognised pathway has led to great success.

The Guardian's Marcus Christenson cited Rangnick's interview and recommended the German tactician to United's executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, the man who would be at the forefront of any director search:

Marcus Christenson @m_christenson

If I were Ed, I'd give this man a ring. Ralf Rangnick: ‘It's like a jigsaw with 500 pieces and our role is to ensure that we have each piece available to help every player improve. We help every individual in the whole club develop and flourish' https://t.co/udln6gjWc0 #mufc

United have experienced a gradual decline since legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, and that has continued under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Any spells of success from Solskjaer's predecessors were short-lived. Jose Mourinho, Louis van Gaal and David Moyes arrived at the club with grander reputations than when they departed.

Rangnick also highlighted the importance of having an identity:

"It's always difficult to follow someone like Sir Alex Ferguson, who was so successful and in place for a long time—and that's even harder if you are often changing coaches. With every coaching change, the identity changes and this is reflected in the sporting development. You can look at the money that team has had available in the last five years and say there has been an underperformance."

There are a long list of candidates who have been associated with a move to Old Trafford over the past year, but Rangnick has never worked outside Germany or Austria in this capacity.

Lille sporting director Luis Campos recently spoke to Sky Sports and said he feels every major club needs a person performing his responsibilities in the modern game:

Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL

Do Manchester United need a sporting director? 🔴 One of the best in the business, Luis Campos, believes so. More: https://t.co/CZvf4ANQXd https://t.co/7hafNI5lSF

Despite months of rumours regarding who might take over in that capacity, United haven't appointed a director of football.

Former Southampton and Leeds United midfielder David Prutton recently appeared on Love Sport Radio and said the expectations have had to fall at Old Trafford—and United's board is a major reason why:

Love Sport Radio @lovesportradio

🗣️ "The board are dodging so many bullets it's ridiculous" David Prutton thinks that Mourinho was right when he said finishing 2nd with Man United was his greatest achievement. #MUFC 📺 Watch - https://t.co/t1PUo0DKrl 📲 Listen - https://t.co/XWhRQgRLH7 https://t.co/690hJSEc57

Leipzig have moved into Germany's top flight and have regularly challenged for major silverware since Rangnick joined their project, and his broad vision could be the kind required to get United back on top.

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