Breaking: Ralf Rangnick Leaves Manchester United

In what was an unexpected and bizarre statement from Manchester United, the club have confirmed that Ralf Rangnick will not be continuing in a consultancy role, as was previously agreed.

At 14:22 BST today, the Communications Department released a statement via the official website. "By mutual agreement, Ralf will now focus solely on his new role as manager of the Austria National Team and will not therefore be taking up a consultancy role at Old Trafford."

A month ago to the day, the club announced that despite the Austria role, Rangnick will, "remain at United in a consultancy role."

It would seem unlikely that Rangnick himself has opted out, having very recently seemed enthused by helping the future of Manchester United. After accepting the Austria job, Rangnick said, "I'm really looking forward to playing my part in helping United become a real force again." This has lead many fans to be suspicious of the circumstances of the departure, leaving other potential reasons up in the air.

After being hired for the interim role earlier this season, it was thought that the real promise of Rangnick's appointment was in his long-term vision for the club. One of the most popular aspects of Rangnick's tenure was his honesty in press conferences, in which he refreshingly called out players and the club. In the next year or so, it was hoped that he could provide a real footballing expertise in how the club is run at board level.

However, things went south in his time as interim manager, seeing the squad finish sixth, and having Brighton to thank for not dropping out of the Europa League spot on the final day of the season. The reasons for this failure are largely debated, with some putting blame on Rangnick himself, whereas others look to the players, who are seen in a negative light by most.

What gives fans hope for the future is the new boss, Erik Ten Hag, who many had hoped would speak to Rangnick, so that the previous interim manager could share his ideas on the shape of the squad, and even future recruitment.

Ten Hag and Rangnick didn't meet in person, as per Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News. Instead, their "lengthy discussion was on the phone."

In a time where supporters are looking rather positively to the future, this decision has split opinions- but all United fans will hope it turns out to be the correct one.

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