Lokomotiv Moscow’s former president has launched a furious tirade against Manchester United’s expected interim boss Ralf Rangnick, labelling him a ‘merchant’ who only came to Russia ‘to earn money’.
Sportsmail understands the 63-year-old German coach – who is head of sports and development at Lokomotiv – has agreed terms on a six-month contract at Old Trafford following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking last weekend.
Sources say that an agreement has yet to be reached between the two clubs but it is expected United will be able to secure his release from the Russian club, who Rangnick only joined in July.
Lokomotiv Moscow’s ex-president has labelled Ralf Rangnick (above) a ‘merchant’ after he agreed a six-month deal at Manchester United
The German only joined the Russian club in July but is now set to be interim boss at Old Trafford
Rangnick has inspired German coaches at the top of the European game – such as Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel and Bayern Munich counterpart Julian Nagelsmann – with his ‘gegenpressing’ approach.
But former Lokomotiv president Nikolai Naumov has launched a scathing attack on Rangnick, insisting the former RB Leipzig boss ‘absolutely does not care about football’.
‘It’s not about Manchester. For Rangnick, this is no escape, betrayal, or disgrace. Rangnick is a merchant,’ Naumov told Match TV (via Sportbox).
‘He absolutely does not care about football, because he only does business around him. And the more countries, leagues and football clubs he covers, the more he will earn.
Ed Woodward and United’s hierarchy have yet to secure his release from the Russian side
‘He’s absolutely indifferent to Lokomotiv. He did not come here to raise football, but to earn money.
‘Now he was offered money elsewhere, and he and his company will go to United. When he’s offered to work in Africa, he will go to earn money there, leaving his deputy at Manchester United. Clean business.’
The terms of Rangnick’s contract mean he will stay on for a further two years in a consultancy role once his time as interim boss at Old Trafford come to an end.
But Naumov added: ‘I will never believe that Manchester United will let him enter the club as a whole agency.
‘As a coach – yes, he is an experienced specialist, it can be. I doubt that even as a consultant he will have the opportunity to do his own ‘buy and sell’. We’ll see what will happen to Rangnick in six months.’
Michael Carrick (centre) is the current caretaker boss following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right)
Rangnick – who has only won one major trophy as a manager – is the replacement for Norwegian Solskjaer from a shortlist hat included Ernesto Valverde, Lucien Favre, Rudi Garcia and Paulo Fonseca.
However, the German still needs a work permit so caretaker boss Michael Carrick will remain in charge for Sunday’s trip to Chelsea.
The former midfielder oversaw United’s 2-0 win away at Villarreal in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.
Rangnick’s first game in charge is likely to be against Arsenal at Old Trafford on Thursday or Crystal Palace at home three days later, with Carrick continuing as caretaker until then after winning his first game as caretaker.
Carrick won his first game in charge in United’s victory at Villarreal in the Champions League