Murtaugh’s statements reaffirm Old Trafford’s original recruitment strategy following the November dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with Ralf Rangnick only expected to head the team as an interim manager until the conclusion of the season.
There had been rumors in recent months that Rangnick may wind up with the job on a permanent basis, but he will instead begin a two-year consulting role.
“We are now conducting a thorough process for the hiring of a new permanent manager who will take command this summer, with the goal of getting us back to challenging for those domestic and European crowns,” Murtaugh stated on Tuesday’s investor conference call.
“Overall, while there is still room for growth and progress, we believe we now have the proper systems in place across our men’s, women’s, and academy teams to enable long-term success, and we will work tirelessly and invest to achieve that.”
Murtaugh is in charge of the club’s football operations, and he is assisted by technical director Darren Fletcher. Richard Arnold, the club’s new chief executive, will be in charge of the commercial side of things but will have the last say on everything.
In November, Mauricio Pochettino and Brendan Rodgers were the early frontrunners.
United’s decision to pursue interim employment in Rangnick was made in order to offer the club more time and flexibility in making the proper permanent appointment. 90min revealed in November that if a formal offer had been made, both Pochettino and Rodgers would have accepted it right away.
Rodgers had more backing from the club’s management at first, but Pochettino has been the preferred pick of the Glazer family and Sir Alex Ferguson. The latter has had personal contact with the Argentine since they met for dinner in 2016.
United quickly narrowed their focus and decided on Pochettino as their top target. Despite being rejected by Paris Saint-Germain, the club has maintained its interest in the former Tottenham Hotspur manager. The French giants were not about to let Pochettino leave Parc des Princes without a definite succession plan of their own, with Zinedine Zidane as their preferred option.
United has also contacted Zidane’s management, although he is not interested in working in England.
Erik ten Hag, the respected Ajax coach, has recently been linked with a move to Manchester, and the 52-year-old acknowledged in December that he is willing to leave for a bigger European team.
Ten Hag remarked at the time, “I think I’m ready for it.” “I’d be delighted to take on that challenge.”