Manchester United’s new interim manager Ralf Rangnick has revealed that Chelsea’s short-term contract offer was the reason he turned the Blues down earlier in the year.
That win spelled the end of the short-lived Michael Carrick era, but there’s no time to dwell for United as they look ahead to the immediate future with the experienced German.
The ex-Lokomotiv Moscow Sporting director was linked to taking over in west London when Frank Lampard was sacked at the start of the year, but Thomas Tuchel was the option that Marina Granovskaia and co. opted for in the end.
In his first unveiling press conference at United, the 63-year-old explained what was going on behind the scenes at Chelsea when he was initially approached for a vacant interim role at the time.
“At the time when Chelsea contacted me, in February, they only spoke about the option to become interim manager for four months, without any prospective to work in the long-term together,” the ex-RB Leipzig manager said.
“Here, now we are talking about six-and-a-half months. We only have one-third of the games played in the Premier League and we have also agreed upon a two-year advisory role after those six-and-a-half months and, to be honest, if a club like Manchester United contacts you for such a role you cannot possibly turn it down.”
Chelsea will unlikely look back in anger at only offering the German a short-term deal, especially considering how well Tuchel has done since taking the reins from club legend Lampard.
Tuchel and his coaching staff have so far masterminded the Blues to their second Champions League title and have put them in a good position to win their first Premier League title after 14 league games so far this season.
The current European Champions are top of the standings after their most recent 2-1 away win against Watford midweek and a win against West Ham in the London derby in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday would keep the winning momentum going.
Chelsea’s current manager, in a similar way to his German counterpart, did initially also reveal his surprise at seeing the club offer himself a short-term deal, which eventually was extended to 2024 after the Champions League final win against Man City in May.
“I want to be very honest with you, at first it was a concern, I was a little like ‘oh, why 18 months?’” Tuchel said at the end of January.
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“And after one minute I thought ‘what does it change?’ What does it change? If they give me four-and-a-half years, they [could] sack me anyway. If they are not happy with me, they will sack me anyway. And if they gave me four-and-a-half years they would put in a clause that when they sack me, they’ll pay me.
“So where can I be sure that I’ll be there for four-and-a-half years? You cannot. That is the truth at this level. What is the role right now of the coaches? Are we in charge of the whole team and the transfers as well, or not, are we totally free in everything we do or not?
“Are we only responsible for bad results or also good results? What is this role and where do we find ourselves in that? So I decided not to worry too much, be brave enough to take on this adventure, because it was absolutely clear that I want to do it and I don’t want to miss the chance.”