Manchester United first-team coach Kieran McKenna named as the new Ipswich Town boss

Manchester United first-team coach Kieran McKenna is named as the new Ipswich boss on a three-and-a-half year deal, becoming the second member of Ralf Rangnick’s backroom staff to leave after Michael Carrick

  • Kieran McKenna has agreed a deal to become the new manager of Ipswich
  • The 35-year-old has now left Ralf Rangnick’s backroom staff at Man United
  • He was brought to Old Trafford by Jose Mourinho and stayed for Solskjaer’s reign
  • Fellow United first-team coach Martyn Pert will be joining him at Portman Road 



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Manchester United first-team coach Kieran McKenna has left Old Trafford to take over as manager at Ipswich Town.

United gave McKenna permission to speak to the League One club about replacing Paul Cook, who was sacked last week, and he was confirmed on a three-and-a-half year deal late on Thursday night. 

He becomes the third member of United’s senior coaching team to depart in the space of a month after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was axed and Michael Carrick left the club after stepping in as caretaker boss for three games. 

Kieran McKenna is in advanced talks to become the new manager of League One Ipswich Town

Kieran McKenna is in advanced talks to become the new manager of League One Ipswich Town

McKenna, who will get down to work in his new job from Monday, said: ‘I’d like to thank Mark Ashton and the owners for putting their faith in me and Martyn to take the club forward.

‘Leaving a club like Manchester United was obviously a difficult decision, but I strongly believe in the opportunity to build something here.

‘It feels like the right time, project and club to make my first step into first-team management.

‘For now, the focus for the team has to be on a huge game on Saturday. After that, I cannot wait to meet everyone and get to work.’

The 35-year-old Northern Irishman is taking United’s strength and conditioning coach Martyn Pert with him to Portman Road.

McKenna has been assisting interim manager Ralf Rangnick, but the German has appointed his own first-team coach in Chris Armas and also brought in sports psychologist Sascha Lense. 

The Blues had spoken to former Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes about the vacant position at Portman Road but have gone with McKenna.

‘Kieran is a highly-respected young coach who has been working at the top level of English football and with one of the biggest clubs in world football for a number of years in Manchester United,’ Ashton said.

McKenna (left) is the second coach to leave Manchester United following Ralf Rangnick's (right) appointment as interim boss last month

McKenna (left) is the second coach to leave Manchester United following Ralf Rangnick’s (right) appointment as interim boss last month

‘He comes to the Club with pedigree within the game and with exciting plans about how he is going to take the team forward. When we met, there was a clear meeting of minds in terms of how we will execute the vision of this football club.’ 

McKenna was brought to United by Jose Mourinho in 2016 and was part of Solskjaer’s coaching staff.

However, a dismal run of results against some of United’s biggest rivals saw Solskjaer sacked, leading to the club to appoint Rangnick as the interim boss last month. 

McKenna remained on the first team coaching staff under the German. The Northern Irishman was known for his intense training sessions with the players under Solskjaer and is now looking to take his coaching methods that step further.  

Michael Carrick (left) left the club earlier this month, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right) was sacked as United manager last month

Michael Carrick (left) left the club earlier this month, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right) was sacked as United manager last month

McKenna, 35, had his playing career cut short by injury and began coaching at Tottenham Hotspur’s academy and with their youth teams.

McKenna was highly rated at United for his work in developing young players out of the club’s academy into the first team set-up.

Ipswich had been on the hunt for a new boss after sacking Cook last month before naming John McGreal as their interim boss shortly after.

Meanwhile, teenage forward Anthony Elanga will sign a new long-term contract at United after featuring in the squad for Rangnick’s first three games. 


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