EPL

Rudi Garcia reveals he was close to landing Manchester United job

By Sports Desk March 16, 2022

Former Lyon manager Rudi Garcia has said he was close to being appointed manager of Manchester United earlier this season.

The Red Devils eventually opted to hire Ralf Rangnick as interim manager in November following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The club is expected to hire another permanent manager at the end of the season, which will end without a trophy after they were knocked out of the Champions League round of 16 by Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, losing the second leg 1-0 at Old Trafford.

Garcia has managed several clubs throughout his career, including Lille, Roma and Marseille, but the French coach has been out of work since leaving Lyon at the end of last season.

Speaking to Le Figaro, Garcia revealed he had offers from several clubs across Europe, but United was the closest he came to being appointed.

"I had several offers, in England, Spain and France, but the most advanced, and which almost went as far as the end, was with Manchester United," he said.

"I saw John Murtough (United's director of football) and Darren Fletcher (technical director). I told them that I had to work on my English and Darren, who is Scottish, had a joke telling me that I didn't have the level yet with the Scottish accent to answer, but that was fine."

The club's form has been up and down since Rangnick arrived, and they currently find themselves one point off the top four in the Premier League, but having played three games more than fourth-placed Arsenal, and have been knocked out of both the FA Cup and the Champions League.

Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag have both been strongly linked with the permanent job at Old Trafford at the end of the campaign, though both were also knocked out of the Champions League at the round of 16 stage, with Paris Saint-Germain losing to Real Madrid and Ajax being eliminated by Benfica.

Garcia has said he would like to return to management soon and is not putting too many limits on where he is willing to work.

"I would like to find a club that plays in the Champions League or has the capacity to qualify for it," he added "I have a preference for England or Spain, but I'm not saying no to Germany, France or Italy.

"If it is, you will find me in an exotic country in a few months, because I won't have found anything that lived up to my expectations. But today, I want to find a club again next season, because after almost twelve months off, I'm itching."

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