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Report: Mintzlaff taking over Rangnick responsibilities at Red Bull

More smoke billowing around the rumors of longtime Red Bull soccer guru moving to AC Milan

Press conference RB Leipzig
Red Bull soccer executives Oliver Mintzlaff (left) and Ralf Rangnick (right)
Photo by Sebastian Willnow/picture alliance via Getty Images

According to a flurry of rumors coming out of Italy this morning, longtime Red Bull sporting executive Oliver Mintzlaff has taken over the Head Of Global Soccer role within the corporation.

If you’re wondering why these reports about an Austrian sporting entity with holdings in Germany, Brazil and the United States would be coming out of Italy, it’s likely related to long-simmering rumors of discussions between Italian giants AC Milan and Ralf Rangnick, the previous holder of the role overseeing Red Bull’s professional soccer holdings that Mintzlaff has reportedly now assumed.

Rangnick confirmed the discussions last week in a Redknappian car window interview with a German journalist during a community public health awareness appearance, stating that he needed time and convincing to consider leaving for Milan in the midst of the current coronavirus pandemic. The chance to rebuild the storied Serie A club in the midst of a barren trophy drought would be enticing for any manager, however Rangnick appears to have ruffled some feathers with his candidness after Milan legend Paolo Maldini hit out at the German over both publicly discussing the job and for seeking total control of Milan’s technical structure in his negotiations.

The shifting of roles and titles in the Red Bull corporate hierarchy can sometimes be inscrutable, but the consolidation of soccer powers to Mintzlaff’s control would be a change of course after last year’s firm reports of Rangnick’s increasing focus on Red Bull’s clubs in New York and Brazil. Just in the last few weeks, Rangnick’s oversight and vision was cited as a key factor behind the hiring of Welsh coaching adminstrator Kevin Thelwell as the new Head of Sport in New York in February.

Rangnick is also known to be a strong ally and mentor of former New York manager Jesse Marsch, who worked as his assistant at RB Leipzig and is currently in charge at Red Bull Salzburg. Marsch, whose Salzburg side had entered sputtering form in the Austrian league prior to the suspension of play, will certainly be an interested observer of Rangnick’s movement and the new corporate structure. Any situation where Rangnick departs would make waves throughout Red Bull and within MLS, where his studied personnel recruitment and taste for high-octane pressing has helped define the last half-decade of soccer in Harrison.