Man United interim boss Ralf Rangnick won’t rule out staying as manager next season

Ralf Rangnick has refused to rule out the possibility that he could stay on as Manchester United manager next season.

The German was unveiled as interim boss at Old Trafford in November and said at the time he could recommend that he stays in position beyond the summer.

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Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag have been linked with the vacancy but Rangnick is remaining tight-lipped about the prospect that he could get the nod.

“I know what I said, that maybe at one stage at the end I might recommend myself in the role as an advisor,” Rangnick told a news conference on Friday. “It’s not the end of the season and we have 11 games left and maybe some more in the Champions League.

“Right now we have enough to do to prepare for Sunday [against Manchester City] and that’s where my focus is.”

Rangnick is expecting to have Edinson Cavani available for the trip to City. The striker hasn’t featured since the 1-1 draw at Burnley on Feb. 8 because of a groin injury.

“He is back in training since yesterday [Thursday],” Rangnick said. “Today was his second session. He looks good so I think he could at least be part of the group for Sunday.

“There are two or three question marks behind some players and we will have to wait and see what happens. Edinson as it stands now will be part of the group.”

Rangnick takes United to the Etihad Stadium on the back of a good recent record at City’s home. Pep Guardiola has only won one home league derby since arriving at the club in 2016 while United have won five of their last seven visits to the Etihad in all competitions.

“We know that we are playing against one of the best, if not the best, in Europe and the world,” Rangnick said. “They have developed well since he arrived.

“The same happened at Bayern, too. He [Guardiola] is one of the most influential coaches in the last 10 or 15 years.

“We know what type of team and style we are facing. It will be about tactical discipline, defending, sprinting and running. Waiting for transition and then taking our chances. We created enough in the last 10 or 11 games.”

Meanwhile, Guardiola’s preparations for the derby have been dealt a blow after Ruben Dias was ruled out with a hamstring injury. The defender was substituted at half-time during the 2-0 win over Peterborough in the FA Cup on Tuesday and could miss the next six weeks.

“It happens in a season,” Guardiola told a news conference on Friday. “One season one of the best players was out for eight or nine months; Kevin [De Bruyne]. I don’t love it, we need him a lot.

“Ruben is massively important for us but he is not there. I’m not going to cry. We have just two central defenders; it is what it is.

“We’re going to fight. We’re going to try to play good. It’s impossible to fight if you don’t play good. We’ll try to make good behaviours, win the game well and hopefully our people can support us as they always do.”

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