Ralf Rangnick has dismissed speculation linking Thomas Tuchel with Manchester United.
Sanctions imposed by the UK government against the Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich have left the Champions League winners in limbo as Chelsea are unable to negotiate contracts with current players or sign players from other clubs.
Pundit Jamie Carragher wrote on Thursday United should attempt to prise Tuchel from Chelsea, where he has also guided them to victory in the Club World Cup, as well as FA Cup and League Cup finals. Tuchel was sacked by Paris Saint-Germain in December 2020 but United did not approach him before he replaced Frank Lampard at Chelsea a month later.
Tuchel is an acolyte of Rangnick’s, having played under his fellow German at Ulm before Rangnick appointed him as the youth coach at Stuttgart in 2000. United have started the process of identifying their next permanent manager but Rangnick downplayed the possibility of them poaching Tuchel.
“It doesn’t make sense at all to even think or speculate about that,” Rangnick said. “Yes, Thomas Tuchel is a top manager. Yes, I know him well. Yes, he was a player of mine in Ulm. Yes, he took his first job as a football coach in Stuttgart when I was the head coach there.
“We all know that but he is the manager of Chelsea right now, they’re third, they’re still in the Champions League and only because there are issues now around the ownership of this club, to speculate about maybe him being a candidate for the manager’s here in the summer doesn’t make sense to do that.”
United passed on Tottenham coach Antonio Conte in late October when the Italian was interested in replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Sources said United were ‘not keen’ on Conte and he was soon installed as coach of Spurs after the dismissal of Nuno Espirito Santo on November 1.
Should Tottenham beat United at Old Trafford on Saturday they would go above them in the Premier League table and have two games in hand. Rangnick took over at United on December 2 and shed no further light on the club’s reluctance to hire Conte.
“I don’t know. I don’t know what our club here thought in October, I don’t know. The only thing I know is at one stage they contacted me and asked for help and if I could imagine taking over until the end of the season. That’s why we are sitting here now.
“You can see that they (Spurs) are playing in a back three with a very compact shape, probably one of the best teams in transitional moments with Heung Son-min and [Harry] Kane. This is what we have to be aware of and prepare for in tomorrow’s game – don’t give them those transitional moments.
“But at the same time they also lost against teams like Middlesbrough, Burnley and Wolves, so if we play at our best possible level it’s not impossible to beat them. In all respect, if Middlesbrough, Burnley and Wolverhampton can beat them we can also beat them. And this is what we have to do, this is our job tomorrow.”