Revealed: How Mesut Ozil played a key role in Ralf Rangnick rejecting the Arsenal job
Word stemming from the media on Friday evening suggests that, had it not been for a decision surrounding the future of Mesut Ozil, Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick could easily have ended up at Premier League rivals Arsenal.
The Ralf era begins
The name of German tactician Rangnick has, of course, taken its place front and centre in England over the course of the last month.
This comes after those in a position of power at Old Trafford came to the surprise decision to appoint the one-time RB Leipzig chief as the club’s new manager.
Rangnick has taken up the reins in Manchester for the remainder of the campaign, ahead of taking his place in the boardroom in a consultancy role through 2024:
Welcome to Manchester United, Ralf Rangnick 🔴🇩🇪#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 29, 2021
The ‘Godfather of Gegenpressing’ has since overseen a pair of fixtures in the dugout at the Theatre of Dreams, an encouraging 1-0 downing of Crystal Palace last weekend, followed by a Champions League stalemate with BSC Young Boys in midweek.
And those of a Red Devils persuasion have already begun to express their excitement at the prospect of what lies ahead, with Rangnick’s heavily tactical setup a far cry from the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era at the club.
The Ozil call
As alluded to above, though, had it not been for one telling decision on the part of the board at a rival Premier League club, then Rangnick could easily have been testing his talents in the Premier League for several years already now.
The outfit in question? Arsenal.
As per a report from The Mirror, the now-Man United headmaster held talks with those in a position of power at the Emirates over the possibility of replacing Arsene Wenger, back in 2018.
This came with the Gunners hierarchy having been aware of their legendary former boss’ decision to move on well in advance of his eventual summer departure.
The club’s Rangnick swoop, however, ultimately fell through owing to the renewal of Mesut Ozil’s contract.
It is understood that the German was left disillusioned by the call to hand his fellow countryman a new deal worth a rumoured £350,000-per-week, culminating in his withdrawal from the running for the Arsenal post:
Rangnick became frustrated at the club making such a significant financial commitment to a player without consulting him in advance, leading him to pull the plug on negotiations.
Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick broke off Arsenal talks after club decision on Mesut Ozilhttps://t.co/JtorOu2kzH pic.twitter.com/hfZJUDiU7N
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) December 10, 2021
Mino Raiola on Paul Pogba’s Man United future & the possibility of joining Bayern Munich
Arsenal dealt last-minute injury blow before Southampton