Ralf Rangnick is planning on having lunch with Sir Alex Ferguson as soon as he can after taking over as Manchester United manager.
The 63-year-old arrived in the UK earlier this week to be installed as interim manager at Old Trafford, but he’s not yet had a chance to meet Ferguson again, with the Scot only returning from a break in New York this week.
Rangnick and Ferguson went head-to-head in the Champions League semi-finals a decade ago, when United ran out 6-1 winners and they met again six years ago, but Rangnick is keen to renew acquaintances.
“I wanted to [meet] but he only came back from New York yesterday and has had to stay at home because of quarantine and covid regulations,” Rangnick said of meeting Ferguson.
“But I am very much looking forward to meeting him next over the two or three weeks. Darren Fletcher told me he wants to arrange a mutual lunch or dinner with him.
“I saw him when we played against him with Schalke obviously, after the second leg he invited me into his office at Old Trafford for a glass of wine. At the time, he enjoyed it far more than I did because we lost 4-1!
“Although the team he had and the one we had, the difference was too big at the time.
“Then again I met him in 2015 when there was the Kicker Sports magazine awards in Nuremberg and we had dinner together.
“I’m very much looking forward to meeting him in person again.”
United have struggled to replace Ferguson since his retirement in 2013 but he had a more high-profile role at the club under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who regularly tapped into his knowledge and experience.
Rangnick, who plans to find an apartment in Hale to live in in the next few weeks, wants to build on those United traditions but is also keen to make sure the club are dragged into the modern era as well.
“The important thing is to celebrate the DNA this club still has, but to also implement it into the transformation to modern football,” he said.
“It’s pretty easy in football. You need to have a certain idea – what do we want to stand for, call it a corporate identity. How do we want to be seen? How do we want to play? How do our fans want us to play?
“Then you must make sure you have the best possible recruitment, sign the best possible players for this kind of football.
“And medium and long-term to have the best manager to develop, coach and train them.”