Ralf Rangnick work visa problems delay debut as Manchester United manager

Michael Carrick will remain in charge of Manchester United for the Premier League match at home against Arsenal on Thursday because the club have not received the requisite paperwork for Ralf Rangnick.

The German has been appointed as interim manager until the end of the season but has not yet been granted a work visa. A United statement said: “While the club follows the regulatory process around a work visa, Carrick will continue at the helm.”

Whether Rangnick will have some input into team selection and tactics regarding the Arsenal match may become clear when Carrick speaks to the media at lunchtime on Wednesday.

Carrick, a former United midfielder and now coaching staff member, was appointed as caretaker after Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s sacking following the 4-1 loss at Watford earlier this month. The 40-year-old has taken charge of a 2-0 victory at Villarreal that sealed qualification for the Champions League knockout stages and Sunday’s league draw at Chelsea. For each game he showed a willingness to make tough calls – dropping Bruno Fernandes for the win at Villarreal and Cristiano Ronaldo for the 1-1 result at Chelsea.

Rangnick is expected to bring a more structured ethos to the side than under Solskjær and he, too, faces selection dilemmas. These include the patchy form of the captain, Harry Maguire, at centre-back, and regarding Ronaldo. At 36 years old he may be unable to adopt the high-pressing style the German coach is renowned for. With United hosting Crystal Palace on Sunday at Old Trafford it would be a surprise if Rangnick were not in the dugout then.

United’s final Champions League group game with Young Boys, which is also at home, may be moved to a neutral venue due to Switzerland’s Covid restrictions. While the club are hopeful Young Boys will be granted dispensation to travel to Manchester for the game next Wednesday, the decision rests with the local government of the Swiss club’s canton, Berne.