Ralf Rangnick is due to add the former New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC coach Chris Armas to his coaching staff at Manchester United. Armas, who worked with Rangnick at the New York Red Bulls, will join United subject to visa approval. It is understood the situation around a work permit is yet to be fully resolved.
The 49-year-old could be one of up to four appointments to Rangnick’s backroom staff although well placed sources at Old Trafford have cautioned that there may not be that many arrivals.
Sports psychologist Sascha Lense is also expected to join the club. The 46-year-old, who worked with Rangnick at RB Leipzig, visited United’s Carrington training base on Monday and was introduced to the players, although he is also waiting for the visa process to be finalised.
American Jesse Marsch, who was sacked as Leipzig manager at the weekend, is another contender for a place on Rangnick’s staff along with Gerhard Struber, the former Barnsley and reigning New York Red Bulls head coach.
Rangnick took charge of his first match as interim manager on Sunday when United beat Crystal Palace 1-0 and the 63-year-old German is keen to recruit new staff. Michael Carrick left United with immediate effect last Thursday after overseeing a 3-2 win over Arsenal after three games as caretaker manager following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking.
Mike Phelan, who was Solskjaer’s No. 2, first team coach Kieran McKenna, assistant Martyn Pert, goalkeeping coach Richard Hartis and set piece and individual development coach, Eric Ramsay, remain at the club although there could be changes down the line.
Rangnick was head of sport and development at Red Bull’s stable of football clubs while Armas was head coach in New York. A former midfielder for the LA Galaxy, Chicago Fire and US national team, Armas was in charge at the New York Red Bulls for just over two years before leaving in September last year. He lasted just 11 matches in charge of Toronto before being fired in July.
Asked last week about his plans for United’s existing coaching staff and any potential additions, Rangnick said: “About the coaching, I’m more than happy to work with them. I need their expertise and experience regarding the current squad. I want to find one, two or three to join us but due to Brexit, it’s not that easy. Many of my former employers are tied up in long-term contracts with big clubs so they are not available right now. We need to be smart and clever, hopefully in one or two weeks but I don’t know.”
Lars Kornetka, Rangnick’s trusted video analyst, will not be joining him at Old Trafford after the German instead succeeded Rangnick as head of sports and development at Lokomotiv Moscow in Russia.
United face Young Boys at Old Trafford in the Champions League in Rangnick’s second game in charge on Wednesday. They have already secured progress to the knockout stages as group winners and Rangnick is expected to make changes from Palace as he runs the rule over other players.
Meanwhile, right-back Diogo Dalot hopes Rangnick can get the best out of the team. “It’s difficult to change and have an opinion in such a few days, but we’re going to have time to know him and he’s going to have time to know us as well for the next couple of weeks,” the Portugal defender said.
“I’m sure that if everybody’s together, everybody’s into it, we’re going to do a fantastic job. We’re going to help him and he’s going to help us as well. There’s no secret that he’s a very good manager with very good ideas to play football. Hopefully we can help him to give us the best that he can give as well, and vice-versa.”