Manchester United have appointed Ralf Rangnick as their interim manager until the end of the season, subject to work visa requirements.
The 63-year-old takes over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was sacked on 21 November following a defeat by Watford.
Rangnick has left his role as head of sports and development at Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow to take up the job.
“I am excited to be joining Manchester United and focused on making this a successful season,” said Rangnick.
Following the end of this season, Rangnick will stay on at Old Trafford for an additional two years in a consultancy role.
His first game in charge of United, who are eighth in the Premier League, could be against Arsenal on Thursday if his work permit application is received in time.
If not, temporary manager Michael Carrick will remain in charge of the side.
“The squad is full of talent and has a great balance of youth and experience,” added Rangnick.
“All my efforts for the next six months will be on helping these players fulfil their potential, both individually and, most importantly, as a team.
“Beyond that, I look forward to supporting the club’s longer-term goals on a consultancy basis.”
Rangnick has built an impressive coaching reputation during his time in Germany, with both Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel speaking highly about their compatriot.
He set Ulm on course to promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time before spells in charge of Stuttgart, Hannover, Hoffenheim, Schalke and RB Leipzig.
He won the German Cup with Schalke in 2011 and took RB Leipzig to the final in 2019.
During the 2010-11 season, he led Schalke to the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they lost 6-1 on aggregate to United, who were then beaten by Barcelona in the final.
“Ralf is one of the most respected coaches and innovators in European football,” said United’s football director John Murtough.
“He was our number one candidate for interim manager, reflecting the invaluable leadership and technical skills he will bring from almost four decades of experience in management and coaching.
“Everyone at the club is looking forward to working with him during the season ahead, and then for a further two years in his advisory role.”
Carrick has been in charge for two games since Solskjaer’s departure and has overseen a win over Villarreal that ensured United would finish top of their Champions League group.
He was also in the dugout for the 1-1 draw with Premier League leaders Chelsea on Sunday.
Carrick, along with all the current coaching team, will remain at the club, while Rangnick will bring a limited number of his own staff.
|Ralf Rangnick’s managerial record|
|Reutlingen||1995 – 1996||51||26||12||13||51%|
|Ulm||1997 – 1999||75||36||18||21||48%|
|Stuttgart||1999 – 2001||86||36||16||34||41.9%|
|Hannover||2001 – 2004||98||44||22||32||44.9%|
|Schalke||2004 – 2005||65||36||15||14||55.4%|
|Hoffenheim||2006 – 2011||166||79||43||44||47.6%|
|RB Leipzig||2015 – 2016/2018 – 2019||88||50||20||18||56.8%|
‘Rangnick has a lot of work in front of him’ – analysis
BBC Sport football reporter Simon Stone
Rangnick is known to favour the high-pressing style that proteges Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel have embraced, so it will be fascinating to see how he goes about introducing it to a Manchester United squad that doesn’t really appear to be built for it.
The 63-year-old went through the finer details in his interview with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, football director John Murtough and technical director Darren Fletcher, who were sufficiently impressed to confirm Rangnick’s status as their number one candidate for the role.
Rangnick will come to Old Trafford with a small number of staff but the current coaches – who all stayed on following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal – will remain.
He has a lot of work in front of him, that’s for sure.
Rangnick will aim to galvanise a team who might have got an unexpected point at Chelsea on Sunday but are on an awful run, collecting four points from their past five games – only Everton, Newcastle and Brighton have done worse than that. In addition, the leadership and technical skills that attracted United will also be used to assess the overall state of the club.
That is certain to mean some kind of involvement in choosing Solskjaer’s permanent successor and, given Rangnick’s background, observations about the structure United have put in place, which many feel is too complicated.