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RED DEVILS LATEST 7:31, 7 Dec 2021Updated: 7:31, 7 Dec 2021RALPH RANGNICK will have to continue his search for an assistant elsewhere after Man Utd’s approach for Gerhard Struber was unsuccessful, SunSport can reveal.

The New York Red Bulls boss – who is a close friend of Rangnick – has turned down the approach as he doesn’t want to drop back to being an assistant.

Meanwhile, Manchester United will host Aston Villa in the FA Cup third round after the draw was made on Monday evening.

The Red Devils last won the competition in 2016 and Rangnick will be keen to win silverware in his time at the club.

On the transfer front, we’ve the very latest on John McGinn plus an update on long-term target Ousmane Dembele.

LATEST IN SUN BINGO AND VEGAS

Get all the latest Man Utd transfer news, gossip and updates here.

NICK OF TIME

Gary Neville ‘wouldn’t be against’ Manchester United extending Ralf Rangnick’s stint as manager beyond the end of the season.

But the former Red Devils star has stressed that his old side must be ‘flexible’ and ‘agile’.

The Sky Sports pundit said: “Let’s say there isn’t anyone available that we would call world class that can take over the club for four years, and Ralf Rangnick has a good six months.

“I wouldn’t be against Ralf Rangnick staying on for next season as a Manchester United fan.

“However, let’s say halfway through that season a world class manager became available, which I think happened with Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) when (Mauricio) Pochettino became available when he left Spurs.

“You might think ‘if one becomes available though Ralf, that can come in for four years for the right project, maybe at that point you go up to your upstairs role and at that point a manager comes in.’

“If there is a world class manager available at the end of the season and Ralf Rangnick has done a good job, I would say then at that point, they should appoint the world class manager if that manager is available for the bigger project, which is the four-year long-term.

“That’s how I would see it at the moment. Be flexible, be agile. If he wins the Champions League, the players absolutely love him, the football’s unbelievable, then you probably would just keep him going.

“But, still be flexible and agile enough to know that he’s still got that ability to go upstairs and manage a great manager and a great coach that can come in for longer term when it occurs.

“So I think they should be agile, I was surprised it got mentioned and brought up in the conference last week – but I think they’ve got to make sure they’re open to all options.”

STRUB SNUB

Gerhard Struber has turned down Manchester United as their search for an assistant for Ralf Rangnick goes on.

The Austrian is currently head coach at New York Red Bulls.

He was approached last week by United to join the backroom staff, as revealed by SunSport.

Struber, 44, is close friends with Rangnick – who has just taken over at United for the next six months.

They spent time together at Red Bull Salzburg as youth coach and Director of Football respectively.

But SunSport understands Struber has decided to stay with the MLS side.

GOOD MORNING RED DEVILS FANS

Man Utd have been given a boost in bringing Erik ten Hag to Old Trafford after the Ajax boss declared he is ready for the next step.

He said: “I think I’m ready for it [to move to a top foreign club].

“I would be happy to take up that challenge.

“But I’m not chasing it. If it turns out that that step will never come, I will not say that my coaching career has failed.

“But I think I have sufficient competences to take on that challenge.”

Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told fans ‘I tried my best’ after a chance encounter with a group of supporters at a sushi takeaway.

Since getting his P45, Solskjaer has made the most of his extra free time and treated himself to some Japanese grub from a nearby Cheshire spot last Wednesday.

And the Athletic claims United-supporting diners thanked him for his efforts during his three years in charge at Old Trafford.

As he collected his food, Solskjaer waved to the fans and said: “I tried my best. Thanks, lads.”

Finally, Gerhard Struber has turned down United as their search for an assistant for Ralf Rangnick goes on.

SunSport understands Struber has decided to stay with New York Red Bulls as he does not want to drop down from head coach to assistant.

Struber told Austrian Sky Sports: “There has been a request.

“It’s no secret that Ralf Rangnick and us know and appreciate us well and appreciate very much.

“At the same time I have in New York, which also makes me look very hopefully into the future and therefore I do not want to give up with New York overnight. 

“I have a longer-term contract there and still have a lot of goals with an ambitious team.”

NEXT UP

Let’s take a look at United’s next five games…

‘OUTRAGEOUS’

Man Utd legend Gary Neville has claimed Ben Godfrey purposely studded Arsenal star Takehiro Tomiyasu in the FACE.

He said on Sky Sports’ coverage of Everton’s 2-1 win: “As a professional, he 100% means that.

“I can see why VAR has said it is accidental, we couldn’t prove it but as a professional he meant it but I can see why it is not a red.”

EXCLUSIVE BY JORDAN DAVIES

Gerhard Struber has turned down Manchester United as their search for an assistant for Ralf Rangnick goes on.

SunSport understands Struber has decided to stay with New York Red Bulls as he does not want to drop down from head coach to assistant.

Struber told Austrian Sky Sports: “There has been a request.

“It’s no secret that Ralf Rangnick and us know and appreciate us well and appreciate very much.

“At the same time I have in New York, which also makes me look very hopefully into the future and therefore I do not want to give up with New York overnight. 

“I have a longer-term contract there and still have a lot of goals with an ambitious team.”

RALFA BET

Ralf Rangnick is set to bring a top-rated sports psychologist to Man Utd.

The Mail claims Sascha Lense has already been introduced to players at Carrington.

The former midfielder has worked with Rangnick before, at RB Leipzig and Schalke.

And he is now set to join his pal at Old Trafford.

NEVER SAY NEVILLE

Gary Neville ‘wouldn’t be against’ Manchester United extending Ralf Rangnick’s stint as manager beyond the end of the season.

He said: “Let’s say there isn’t anyone available that we would call world class that can take over the club for four years, and Ralf Rangnick has a good six months.

“I wouldn’t be against Ralf Rangnick staying on for next season as a Manchester United fan.

“However, let’s say halfway through that season a world class manager became available, which I think happened with Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) when (Mauricio) Pochettino became available when he left Spurs.

“You might think ‘if one becomes available though Ralf, that can come in for four years for the right project, maybe at that point you go up to your upstairs role and at that point a manager comes in.’

“If there is a world class manager available at the end of the season and Ralf Rangnick has done a good job, I would say then at that point, they should appoint the world class manager if that manager is available for the bigger project, which is the four-year long-term.”

WEIGHS A TON

Man United start their FA Cup journey with a cracker against Aston Villa.

Ralf Rangnick will pit his wits against Steven Gerrard to earn a place in the fourth round.

And the tie will also see Liverpool legend Gerrard in the dugout at Old Trafford.

ANOTHER STYLE

Here’s another way United could look against Young Boys…

POTENTIAL XI

Donny van de Beek will be hoping for his first start under Ralf Rangnick when Man Utd face Young Boys this week.

Veteran Juan Mata could also get a rare start, as well as academy winger Anthony Elanga.

Is this how United will line up in their final Champions League group stage game?

CLASSY OLE

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told fans ‘I tried my best’ after a chance encounter with a group of supporters at a sushi takeaway.

Since getting his P45, Solskjaer has made the most of his extra free time and treated himself to some Japanese grub from a nearby Cheshire spot last Wednesday.

And the Athletic claims United-supporting diners thanked him for his efforts during his three years in charge at Old Trafford.

As he collected his food, Solskjaer waved to the fans and said: “I tried my best. Thanks, lads.”

COMMON TONGUE

Dalot also admits his transition into United’s XI has been made easier by playing alongside Portugal pals Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes.

He added: “Yeah, to be honest, it does help because we’re very spread on the pitch so we can communicate with each other and pass important messages through the team.

“But obviously the other people, the other guys talk a lot as well.

”We communicate well with each other, so we want to keep that as well everybody together but obviously it does help with the communication.”

THAT’S DA LOT

Diogo Dalot is determined to make the most of his chance to finally kick-start his Manchester United career.

He said:”I mean, there’s no secret that it’s difficult when you don’t play as much as you wanted.

“But it’s our job to get ready and I’ve been doing that for a couple months now, especially this season, and be ready when my time comes to give everything on the pitch.

“Help the team, that’s most important thing, and I’m very happy to give this momentum as well and be out there with the team.”

“It’s my job to be out there and then help the team and give my best.

“I need to show my best qualities as well. I have fantastic players that can help me inside the pitch and today was one more opportunity for me to give that.”

TEN OUT OF TEN

Man Utd have been given a boost in bringing Erik ten Hag to Old Trafford after the Ajax boss declared he is ready for the next step.

He said: “I think I’m ready for it [to move to a top foreign club].

“I would be happy to take up that challenge.

“But I’m not chasing it. If it turns out that that step will never come, I will not say that my coaching career has failed.

“But I think I have sufficient competences to take on that challenge.”

HAA LA LAND

Jamie Carragher has revealed that Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland will join him on Sky Sports for Monday Night Football.

The Man Utd-linked ace will provide analysis on Arsenal’s away clash against Everton at Goodison Park as both teams look to get back to winning ways.

Carragher tweeted: “Delighted this man Erling Haaland will make his debut on #MNF tonight!”

RALF’S MAN

Meet Chris Armas, Man Utd’s new coach who’s never worked in Europe.

He also had a horror reign at Toronto.

But Armas is being backed by Ralf Rangnick for the Red Devils.

READ MORE ABOUT UNITED’S LATEST SIGNING

BALLON COR

Lionel Messi is already joint-favourite to retain his Ballon d’Or trophy next year.

BetVictor has the PSG star at 5/1 for the 2022 title alongside Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.

Liverpool’s Mo Salah and Man Utd’s Cristiano Ronaldo are both 6/1.

2022 Ballon d’Or odds:

Robert Lewandowski 5/1Lionel Messi 5/1Mohamed Salah 6/1Cristiano Ronaldo 6/1Kylian Mbappe 8/1Erling Haaland 10/1Kevin De Bruyne 10/1 *Odds according to BetVictor and correct at time of writing

RON CAN RUN

Ralf Rangnick hailed Cristiano Ronaldo’s off the ball work during Manchester United’s win over Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon.

He said: “We wanted to play with two strikers, especially in the central position.”

By the way, Cristiano Ronaldo’s work off the ball, chapeau.”

RIGHT SAID FRED

Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick poked fun at Fred’s one-footedness after the Brazilian’s winner against Crystal Palace.

Rangnick said: “I had to ask my assistant coach if that was Fred’s right foot.

“I thought he could only shoot with his left. I’m happy for him, it was a beautiful goal with his weak right foot.”

Fred himself admitted: “I’m left-footed but sometimes I shoot with the right.

“It was a good ball from Mason and I just looked for goal. The most important thing was to get the win and a clean sheet in the first game of a new coach.”

NEXT UP

Let’s take a look at United’s next five matches…

RANGNICK ON MAN UTD PRESSING

He said: “I’m more than happy. First of all, most importantly, we won the game. Second, we had a clean sheet, third I think we no doubt deserved to win, because we had control of the game.

“I suppose it [United’s possession] was more than 60 per cent, and we didn’t give them that many chances to score.

“To be honest I was positively surprised by the performance of the players. I didn’t expect us to play at that level after only one-and-a-half training days together with them.

“The first half-hour was amazing, it was high intensity, high speed, high tempo – the only thing that was missing was scoring one or two goals”.

CLEANING UP

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick admits it’s important to fix the team’s poor clean sheet record.

Rangnick told United’s official website: “These kinds of players are always able to score goals.

“Today [against Crystal Palace] we had to have some patience but we are able to score goals so as long as we keep clean sheets – it was only the third clean sheet this season – as you say, we are always able to win.”

ULTI-MANE-UM

Barcelona have issued an ultimatum to Manchester United transfer target Ousmane Dembele, giving him until December 31 to decide on his future.

Dembele’s contract with Barca expires in June and the club needs to know whether he will commit to a new deal by New Year’s Eve.

According to Sport, negotiations between the Blaugrana and the winger have hit a snag over the player’s financial demands, while other clubs are keeping tabs on him.

The France international’s agent has already met with Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Tottenham and Juventus to discuss their offer, while Liverpool also appear to be interested.

The 24-year-old claims he wants to stay put at Barcelona but his representative hint this will only happen for the right price.

RED RECRUIT

Ralf Rangnick has reportedly made his first appointment at Manchester United by recruiting Chris Armas.

The German took charge of the Red Devils last week on an interim basis until the end of the season before beginning a role as a consultant.

Michael Carrick, who assisted the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, was placed as caretaker but left the club last week after the win over Arsenal.

That left Rangnick, who led United to a victory over Crystal Palace in his first game in charge yesterday, needing to add to his staff, with the 63-year-old contacting New York Red Bulls coach Gerhard Struber regarding a role at Old Trafford.

Now ESPN’s Taylor Twellman has claimed that American Armas, 49, is joining United’s coaching team, and he could potentially be No.2.

He has been granted a work permit and will travel to England in the next few days to take up the position.

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