EPL

Rangnick? I'd need a nap to talk about Man Utd's many rumoured managers – City boss Guardiola

By Sports Desk November 27, 2021

Pep Guardiola said he would need a nap to talk about Manchester United's many rumoured managers amid mounting speculation regarding potential new Red Devils boss Ralf Rangnick.

Rangnick is reportedly set to take over United on an interim basis following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with a potentially longer stay at Old Trafford in a role behind the scenes.

Former RB Leipzig head coach Rangnick – who also held various roles at the Bundesliga outfit across eight seasons – is currently head of sports and development at Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow.

Talk of Rangnick's six-month appointment has dominated headlines as United reportedly eye long-term targets Mauricio Pochettino of Paris Saint-Germain and Ajax's Erik ten Hag, while Sporting CP boss Ruben Amorim has also been mentioned.

Manchester City manager Guardiola was asked about the potential arrival of Rangnick in the Premier League.

"Personally? No," Guardiola said when asked if he knew much about Rangnick. "I spoke once to him in my lifetime by phone.

"I never met him, but I know he did an incredible job in an organisation like Red Bull Leipzig and Salzburg and has big experience in Germany, is incredibly well known. But personally, I haven't met him."

Further pressed on Rangnick and Lars Kornetka, who worked alongside Guardiola at Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich as an analyst, the Spaniard dismissed the reports.

"Listen, listen, over the last 10 days, maybe it was 20 names of a possible manager for Man United, so I cannot speak for each one," Guardiola said ahead of Sunday's clash with West Ham.

"Maybe this afternoon we'll have to take a nap, so we'll spend three hours to answer all the possible candidates to be Man United [manager]. So at the moment he will be appointed, if you ask me the opinion, I will give my answer.

"So no, I don't know. Now Michael Carrick is the [interim] manager for Man United, and that is my only concern."

Defending champions City are second in the table, three points behind leaders Chelsea through 12 rounds, while United are 12 points off the pace.

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  • Women's Euros: Spain face tall order as AI makes England marginal trophy favourites Women's Euros: Spain face tall order as AI makes England marginal trophy favourites

    Maybe this time football really is 'coming home'.

    Hosts England are widely considered among the favourites to win Euro 2022 as Sarina Wiegman leads the Lionesses onto the big stage, and they can be considered marginal front-runners for a wide-open tournament.

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    1. England (19.3 per cent)

    Runners-up in 1984 and 2009, perhaps England's second European finals on home soil could bring about a triumph the Lionesses have longed to achieve.

    They have such immense strength in their forward ranks that Ellen White, joint top scorer at the 2019 World Cup, is not assured of her place in the team. The likes of Ella Toone, Beth Mead and Alessia Russo could push White for the starting spot as striker, with three attackers set to feature in behind, as manager Wiegman looks to blow away the opposition.

    England are given an 81.9 per cent chance of coming through the group stage to reach the quarter-finals, a 54.1 per cent shot at getting through to the semi-finals, and a 31.1 per cent hope of making it through to the Wembley trophy match. Their 19.3 per cent chance of carrying off the trophy means it is hardly a given that England will finish bathed in glory, and that is because the opposition is so strong.

    2. France (18.5 per cent)

    Les Bleues left Amandine Henry and Eugenie Le Sommer out of their squad, meaning two of their recognised stars will be conspicuously absent from Corinne Diacre's team.

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    Jorge Vilda's Spain are built on formidable foundations, with players from Barcelona and Real Madrid dominating their squad. Barcelona won all 30 of their domestic league games last year, but their players were knocked out of stride by defeat to Lyon in the Champions League final.

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    Spain's Ballon d'Or winner Alexia Putellas faces a race to be fit for the Women's European Championship after suffering a knee injury ahead of their opener against Finland.

    Barcelona captain Putellas finished as the Champions League's top goalscorer with 11 goals last season, also ending her domestic campaign with 18 league goals. 

    Putellas, who has scored 27 goals in 100 international appearances and also picked up FIFA's The Best Women's Player award in 2021, was expected to provide creativity from out wide for La Roja, but could now miss out on Euro 2022.

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    Spain are already without one key player for the competition, which begins when England face Austria at Old Trafford on Wednesday, after they lost record goalscorer Jennifer Hermoso to a ligament injury.

    Featuring a plethora of players from a Barcelona team that won all 30 of their domestic league games last season, Spain are considered to be among the favourites for glory in England, but must come through a tough-looking Group B which also features Germany and Denmark.  

    La Roja open their campaign against Finland at Stadium MK on Friday.

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