International Soccer

Bayern Munich make ex-Man Utd boss ‘first alternative’ to Xabi Alonso

Ralf Rangnick has emerged as a surprise candidate to become Bayern Munich manager next season once current boss Thomas Tuchel leaves the role in summer, according to reports in Germany.

Bayern have already taken the decision to dispense with Tuchel after falling behind Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga title race, but stopping short of a mid-season sacking two years in a row.

Xabi Alonso had been Bayern’s primary choice to lead the next chapter, but the Spaniard, who was also wanted by Liverpool, has opted to remain with Leverkusen instead for at least one more year.

It has left Bayern to assess other options and kicker has reported that Rangnick is suddenly the “first alternative” now that Alonso has taken himself off table. The prior relationship between the ex-Manchester United interim boss and Bayern sporting director Christoph Freund appears to be key.

Freund was formerly sporting director at Red Bull Salzburg at a time when Rangnick was in a senior role overseeing Red Bull’s multi-club football operations. They had first worked together in Salzburg when Rangnick was sporting director and Freund was climbing the sports management ladder.

Ralf Rangnick

Rangnick could return to club management / Christian Hofer/GettyImages

kicker adds that Bayern officials have spoken about the return of Hansi Flick as a potential option. But that isn’t the case for Julian Nagelsmann, while Antonio Conte, Jose Mourinho and Zinedine Zidane have also been ruled out. Roberto De Zerbi appears to be only an outside choice due to not speaking German, which is desirable even if not absolutely necessary in the eyes of the hierarchy.

Since leaving Manchester United in 2022, having been publicly critical about the level of overhaul required to make the club successful and not taking up the talked about consultant role once Erik ten Hag was hired, Rangnick has been head coach of the Austria national team. His original contract was until this summer but an automatic two-year option was triggered upon qualifying for Euro 2024.

Rangnick secured the DFB Pokal and short-lived DFB Ligapokal during two stints at Schalke but has not generally won major trophies throughout his career. That being said, he is credited with playing formative roles in the development of both Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig into high level clubs.


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