Manchester United have confirmed new interim manager Ralf Rangnick’s work permit is still processing, meaning he is likely to be absent for Thursday’s match against Arsenal.
Following much speculation, United announced on Monday an agreement had been reached with Rangnick over a relationship that is set to span two and a half years.
Initially, Rangnick will take charge until the end of the season before moving into a consultancy role.
Rangnick has previously shaped German clubs such as Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig from top to bottom, with his future advisory position at Old Trafford suggesting United are planning an overhaul of their football operations, which have long appeared outdated compared to their rivals.
Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal, his former assistant Michael Carrick has been in charge and presided over a 2-0 Champions League win at Villarreal and a 1-1 draw away to Premier League leaders Chelsea.
United are next in action at home to Arsenal on Thursday, though it seems Rangnick will not be present.
An update posted to United’s website read: “[It] will be the first game since Ralf Rangnick was appointed interim manager, even though the new man is still waiting for his work visa to be processed.”
“I am excited to be joining Manchester United and focused on making this a successful season for the club. The squad is full of talent.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 29, 2021
To further complicate matters, people travelling to the United Kingdom are required to take a coronavirus test within two days of entering the country, and individuals must quarantine until their result has been returned.
As such, even if Rangnick received his visa on Wednesday, the likelihood of him taking a coronavirus test and getting the result in time to attend Thursday’s match is remote.
United are at home again on Sunday when they host Crystal Palace, seemingly a more realistic target for Rangnick’s first game.