The Hoffenheim boss is set to take over at RB Leipzig in 2019, but until then the club director of football has opted to take the reins as coach
Ralf Rangnick will combine his role as RB Leipzig’s director of football with first-team coaching duties for the 2018-19 season, with long rumoured head-coach candidate Jesse Marsch as an assistant, as the club waits for the Julian Nagelsmann era to begin next year.
Leipzig pulled off something of a coup by securing the highly rated Nagelsmann for the start of the 2019-20 campaign shortly after Hoffenheim announced the 30-year-old was only going to remain for one more year.
But it left Leipzig in the unusual position of having a coach lined up for the future but not for the coming campaign following Ralph Hasenhuttl’s departure.
Marsch had been expected to take up the position for a year after he left New York Red Bulls on Friday, but instead it has been revealed he left to be Rangnick’s assistant.
And Rangnick explained his familiarity with the Bundesliga and the German language is why he will be at the head with Marsch on his staff.
“It was a decision that needed time,” Rangnick said. “We have now come to the conclusion that I will take on the role of head coach, supported by the best coaching staff at our disposal.
“Ultimately, it came down to carrying responsibility – I know the league, the team and I speak the language. That isn’t the case yet for Jesse Marsch, so that’s why he will be working as an assistant coach.”
Rangnick, who previously led RB Leipzig to their Bundesliga promotion, explained how he plans to balance his role as head coach and sporting director at the club.
“The aim is for me to be on the pitch for every training session. Many of my tasks as sporting director will have to be dished out internally.
“I’m feeling great, I can’t wait to get going and working with this great setup. Everyone in the team needs to feel important and valued, then we can look forward to a successful season with attractive football.”
Rangnick also has one eye on the transfer market, as he revealed he is looking at adding three more players to the squad.
He also revealed the club is hoping to secure the signing of Ademola Lookman, who scored five league goals in 11 games while on loan from Everton in the second half of the season, on a permanent basis.
“Bringing in three more players would be realistic,” Rangnick said. “We’re still in talks over Ademola Lookman.
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“And we’re also looking at something for central midfield, whether that’s a No.6, 8 or 10.
“Our goal is to develop further in every key area and make our playing style something to be feared again.
“We want to be able to get into sixth or seventh gear again so that we can get the best possible results.”