Former Red Bull chief Ralf Rangnick has revealed that he rejected the chance to become interim manager at Chelsea before the Blues opted to bring in Thomas Tuchel.
Chelsea chose to cut ties with former boss Frank Lampard in January and were immediately rumoured to be pursuing a German manager, with Rangnick joining Tuchel and a handful of others on their wish list.
“I said, ‘I would love to come and work with you, but I cannot do it for four months. I am not an interim coach’,” Rangnick said. “To the media and players you would be the ‘four-month manager’, a lame duck, from day one.”
Rangnick also admitted that he could tell Chelsea really wanted to bring in Tuchel, whose transition into management actually began under Rangnick in 2000.
“Thomas became a coach through me,” Rangnick said. “He was my player at Ulm and had to finish his career because of knee problems. I gave him a job as our under-15 coach. He didn’t even intend on being a coach, he was working at a bar in Stuttgart.
“If you watch Chelsea now you see a mutual plan for when they have the ball or the other team have the ball. Thomas is tactically on a very sophisticated level.
“Zsolt Low [Tuchel’s assistant] was my player and assistant coach at Leipzig and plays a vital role in his staff and you can see from the way he interacts with players Thomas also has great leadership skills. Appointing him was a top solution. I can only congratulate Thomas and Chelsea for the choice.”
Rangnick confessed his deep-rooted love for England, even joking that he may have been an Englishman in a former life, before admitting he hopes to try his hand in the Premier League one day.
“I would love to work in England and I feel I could start from day one there, but it would have to be something special,” he admitted. “It depends on what club and if they are willing to have a German coach.”