If Ralf Rangnick wins the Champions League this season, he has a chance to become Manchester United’s permanent manager.
Rangnick, according to former United striker Louis Saha, can lead the team to Champions League glory despite the team’s domestic woes.
Rangnick will lead United until the conclusion of the season, when a permanent successor will be named, with Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag being the frontrunners.
But Saha believes temporary manager Rangnick can earn a full-time position if he can lead United to European glory, like Roberto Di Matteo did as caretaker manager at Chelsea in 2012.
“It’s not a foregone conclusion that Rangnick will not be in charge of United in the summer,” Saha remarked.
“If Ralf wins the Champions League, he’ll stay on as coach.”
“There is fear about him, definitely, since he started out well and many people assumed he would stay, but now United are struggling.”
“But for Rangnick, it’s all about the numbers. This season, United has a chance to win the Champions League.
“Chelsea won it, despite the fact that they weren’t particularly good in the opening half of last season. I don’t think their team was particularly strong, yet they managed to win.
“At long last, they discovered a foundation that was tough to topple.” They weren’t particularly strong offensively, but they still won the Champions League.”
United drew 1-1 with Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their last-16 encounter, and will host the critical return match on March 15 at Old Trafford.
“Of course, everything depends on the draw for United, because you can be challenged by that,” Saha remarked.
“However, it is a competition in which you must be good on the day and have those great players who can impress on the day, which they do.”
“I have to confess, Rangnick is in a difficult situation, especially as an interim manager.
“Some players will believe you don’t hold all the cards, so it’s not easy, it’s really not easy.”
In an interview with William Hill, Saha remarked of United’s chances of finishing in the top four: “If they don’t finish in the top four, it will be a tremendous setback.”
“We’re talking about winning the title if you finish in the top four.” Sorry, but this team should be winning games and aiming for the championship, not just being in the top four. That isn’t typical.
“Finishing in the top four is a sign that things are improving, but it’s not enough.”