Chelsea manager latest: Ralf Rangnick emerges as surprise Blues target as Maurizio Sarri nears exit

13 Jun

Chelsea have identified Ralf Ranknick as a potential replacement for Maurizio Sarri, reports claim.

Sarri is set to depart Stamford Bridge this summer with Juventus hoping to conclude a deal to make the Italian their new manager after Max Allegri’s resignation.

The former Napoli boss spent just a single year in charge of Chelsea, but ended it on a high note with Europa League success and a third place finish in the Premier League.

Sarri won the first ever silverware of his career by guiding Chelsea to Europa League success
Getty Images - Getty

Talks continue between the two clubs over Sarri’s return to his homeland, and there is said to be an issue concerning his release clause, but a deal is expected to be agreed in the near future.

Chelsea have already started their hunt for Sarri’s successor, with the likes of Javi Gracia, the Watford manager, and Blues legend Frank Lampard linked with the post.

Rafa Benitez was named as a shock target for Chelsea chiefs earlier this week, and another coach has become a surprise inclusion on the club’s shortlist.

Rangnick, the 60-year-old German, is now being linked with a summer move to Stamford Bridge, Bild report.

In 2018/19 Rangnick guided Leipzig to a third place Bundesliga finish, while they also finished runners-up in the DFB-Pokal
GETTY IMAGES - GETTY

A highly-rated and well-respected coach in his homeland, Rangnick is known for his affiliation with RB Leipzig, having served the Bundesliga club as both manager and sporting director.

He was their head coach in 2018/19 but will step down this summer with Julian Nagelsmann to take charge of the club for 2019/20.

And Bild claim the soon-to-be free agent has been identified by Chelsea as a potential new manager, though it is confirmed no negotiations have taken place between the two parties.

Rangnick has also managed Stuttgart, Hannover, Schalke and Hoffenheim during his lengthy career, and has many times before been linked with a Premier League job.

Next permanent Celtic manager odds: Neil Lennon, Steve Clarke, David Moyes and Roberto Martinez in the frame to replace Brendan Rodgers

26 Feb

Neil Lennon is the overwhelming favourite with bookmakers to replace Brendan Rodgers at Celtic, if the former Liverpool boss decides to leave.

Rodgers has reportedly verbally agreed to succeed Claude Puel at Leicester City following the Frenchman’s sacking.

Lennon is the outright favourite to manage Celtic if Rodgers leaves

If Rodgers does decide to leave Scotland after two-and-a-half-years, the Bhoys will be left without a manager at perhaps the most crucial stage of the season.

With yet another treble of domestic trophies a very real possibility still, Celtic Park chiefs will be keen to appoint a manager who can succeed in the short-term and ensure progress for the long-term.

As mentioned earlier, Lennon remains the bookies’ favourite to return to Celtic after leaving in 2014 after four successful years.

The former Leicester City midfielder has been without a club since being relieved of his duties by Hibernian at the end of January.

But who else is in the frame, according to the latest odds?

Scroll down to see who Paddy Power have listed in the running to become the next permanent Celtic manager.*

Paul Lambert – 40/1

Lambert is currently in charge at Ipswich Town

Mikel Arteta – 33/1

The Spaniard was linked with the Arsenal job in the summer

Graham Potter – 33/1

The former Ostersund boss has been a revelation at Swansea City

Henrik Larsson – 22/1

To describe this appointment as ‘popular’ would be an understatement

Roberto Martinez – 20/1

Martinez led Belgium to third place at the World Cup in Russia this summer

Michael O’Neill – 20/1

O’Neill took Northern Ireland to Euro 2016

Ralf Rangnick – 20/1

The current RB Leipzig boss has also managed Schalke

David Moyes – 8/1

Former Celtic defender Moyes was last in management in May with West Ham

Steve Clarke – 6/1

The current Kilmarnock boss has a wealth of experience as a manager and an assistant

Neil Lennon – 1/6

The former Hibernian boss is in line to succeed Rodgers at Parkhead

*Odds correct as of 26/2/19 at 3pm

Liverpool target Timo Werner urged not to join Premier League leaders because of Naby Keita’s ‘struggles’

4 Feb

Liverpool target Timo Werner has been warned against joining the Premier League leaders by RB Leipzig manager Ralf Rangnick.

Jurgen Klopp is a long-term admirer of Germany striker Werner, who has been linked with a move to Anfield to provide competition for Roberto Firmino and strengthen the Reds’ attacking options.

Timo Werner has scored 14 goals for club and country this season

But Rangnick has given a word of warning to his star man, saying former RB Leipzig team-mate Naby Keita has not looked the same player since joining the Reds in the summer.

Keita finally became a Liverpool player last year, 12 months after agreeing a £52million move to the Merseyside club, but the midfielder has struggled for form and regular game time during his first season in the Premier League.

And Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick says Werner – who has 14 goals for club and country this season – should be wary of joining him at Anfield.

“Keita was an outstanding player here, but he’s still struggling in Liverpool ,” the manager told Sky Germany.

“So far, he’s not the player there that he was here. The surroundings must be right for Timo. That’s the case here.”

Keita has struggled to adjust to life at Liverpool, but has given fans glimpses of his class

Werner’s current contract expires in the summer of 2020, but it is rumoured he could be sold in the upcoming summer transfer window having so far refused to pen a new deal.

Linked with German giants Bayern Munich as well as Liverpool, the 22-year-old has so far said no to offers of fresh terms, and Rangnick has revealed the club simply cannot afford to compete with the wages on offer at other clubs.

“We have gone to our financial limits with our offer,” added the boss.

“We know that he can earn more elsewhere, but he can also provide for himself for the rest of his life here. Financial aspects will not be the decisive factor, but rather the sporting perspective.

“We’re trying to keep him. He knows he’s very popular in the team, with the coach and the fans. He’s a top player, and he has become one of the most exciting Bundesliga strikers in the country.

“He still has one-and-a-half years left of his contract, and I hope that he’ll stay. But in the end, it’s up to him.”

RB Leipzig use crazy ‘wheel of fortune’ to punish players instead of fines

13 Sep

RB Leipzig manager Ralf Rangnick has created a brilliantly inventive alternative to fines when it comes to punishing players.

Rangnick, who is in his final season in charge before Julian Nagelsmann takes over, uses a hilarious ‘wheel of fortune’ to decide the consequences of ill-discipline.

It is his view that a professional footballer’s time is more valuable than their money, so fines were not working as a strong enough deterrent.

The wheel concept is pretty straightforward: spin the wheel and face your forfeit.

Punishments include: wearing a pink tutu, becoming a stadium guide, cleaning dirty kits and working in the club shop.

There is a get out of jail free option if you land on number four, but the remaining eleven punishments all contain something outrageous.

RB Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick

Here’s all 12, according to Who Ate All The Pies:

1. Pump up the balls, get them on the pitch, clean them – 30 minutes per day for one week

2. Train one of the academy teams on an otherwise free day – four hours

3. Stadium tour guide – one hour

4. Get lucky: No punishment

5. Mow and take care of the training pitch – four to six hours within a training week

6. Wear a pink ‘princess’ jersey or ballerina tutu for training – 90 minutes

7. Mix drinks ahead of training, fill bottles with water – 20 minutes per day for one week

8. Work as an assistant in the club shop for three hours

9. Serve food in the team cafeteria, clean the tables – 30 minutes per day

10. Work as kit assistant, take care of dirty shirts, help with cleaning boots – 30 minutes per day

11. Help load the team bus with crates and bags on day of away matches -around an hour and a half

12. Purchase small gifts for all of Leipzig’s 60 members of staff