Austria’s failure to qualify for the 2022 World Cup saw Franco Foda step down from his position as national team manager. His exit has seen ÖFB [Österreichischer Fußball-Bund] sporting director Peter Schöttel look for a successor.
On Tuesday, Kurier reported ‘there is a suspicion’ the Austria director has flown out to meet Manchester United’s Ralf Rangnick. The ex-Schalke boss will be interim manager until the end of this season, and from the summer is expected to start a new role as a consultant for the next two years.
Wednesday’s edition of Kurier explains they have an eyewitness who saw Schöttel on a plane travelling to Manchester.
The newspaper further claims they are ‘certain’ the national team director made a trip to England to meet Rangnick. This meeting was ‘not just to get advice’ from the German, but to ‘negotiate’ with him.
A source who has known the 63-year-old for many years told Kurier that “money doesn’t always come first” for Rangnick. That’s partly because he has earned ‘quite a bit’ throughout his career so far.
Things have not gone as planned for the Red Devils under his guidance so far.
The report states: ‘The suspicion of not being able to get his style across to stars who think differently could persuade the German to turn his back on the island in the summer.’
‘Another companion of Rangnick is Christoph Freund. Salzburg’s sports director sits on the ÖFB sports commission, advises Schöttel in the search for a manager and has also established contact with Rangnick. Is it a coincidence that the ÖFB has convened a meeting at short notice for next Friday? Not at all.’
Schöttel has met with Rangnick in Manchester to ‘negotiate’ with him and Freund has also ‘established contact’ with the Manchester United interim manager.
It remains to be seen whether the German will leave Old Trafford after this season to take the Austria job or continue working as a consultant for the Premier League side.