Manager reveals he came ‘really close’ to Man United job, with Murtough and Fletcher reactions revealed

Rudi Garcia has revealed that he held successful interviews for the Manchester United manager’s job before Ralf Rangnick pipped him.

United started the season brightly by bringing in four-times Champions League-winning defender Raphael Varane and £73million signing Jadon Sancho. Cristiano Ronaldo’s return subsequently added to the buzz around Old Trafford.

However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struggled to maintain Man Utd‘s early-season form. He therefore got the sack in November.

United initially tried to get Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino in on a permanent deal. They ended up going down the interim route until the end of the season, appointing former RB Leipzig coach Rangnick.

Still, the Red Devils had a number of other candidates on their radar. Former Lyon, Roma and Marseille boss Garcia was one of them. The 58-year-old has been out of work since leaving Lyon in May 2021.

Speaking about his attempts at getting back into management, Garcia told Le Figaro: ” I was sent all over the football planet, with real news and fake news too, it’s quite funny to read that.

“I had several proposals, in England, Spain and France, but the most advanced, and which really came close, was with Manchester United.”

Garcia added that United admired his recent record both domestically and in Europe.

“They made the choice of Rangnick, but that also testifies to the international recognition that I can have, where the leaders only look at the results,” he said.

“My two places as Italian vice-champion with AS Roma, a Europa League final with Lyon and a Champions League semi-final with Lyon, that counts in the eyes of some.”

Indeed, Garcia led Lyon past Juventus and Manchester City into the Champions League semi-finals in 2020.

Garcia subsequently held discussions with Man Utd football director John Murtough and technical director Darren Fletcher.

“In Manchester, the interviews went pretty well,” the Frenchman said.

“I saw John Murtough and Darren Fletcher, I told them I had to work on my English and Darren, who is Scottish, had a cool joke telling me that I did not yet have the level with the Scottish accent to answer, but that it was very good.

“I find it respectful to speak the language in the country where you work. At Marseille or Lyon, I waged war on my players to take French lessons.

“When you see [Carlo] Ancelotti speaking our language despite leaving PSG, it’s classy.”