MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) -Manchester United caretaker manager Michael Carrick announced he was leaving the Premier League club following his side's 3-2 win over Arsenal on Thursday.
Former United midfielder Carrick has been in charge of the team since the dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last month. German Ralf Rangnick is taking over as interim manager until the end of the season.
"It’s not been an easy decision to make but I feel it’s the right one. I was going to take time off after I finished playing and it never happened. It feels like the right time to step away and what a way to finish," Carrick told Amazon Prime.
"It’s 100% my decision. Over the last week I was conscious I respected the club and the manager coming in. I thought it was the right thing to do for the club and for Ralf [Rangnick] and I’m quite happy with that," he added.
An England international, Carrick won five Premier League titles at United under Alex Ferguson before joining Jose Mourinho's coaching staff after retiring as a player in 2018.
He was a key part of Solskjaer's management team and after the Norwegian's departure led United to a win at Villarreal in the Champions League which secured a place in the last 16 and Sunday's draw at Chelsea in the Premier League.
"We were in a situation where there was a responsibility to see these games through," said Carrick.
"I’ve had great times, great memories and I’m proud of the players over the past three games.
"I just told them and they were a bit shocked and surprised, a bit emotional in the changing room. I held it together just about. It’s not been easy to keep it away from people but I had a job to do," the 40-year-old said.
United's Football Director John Murtough said the club were sad to see him leave.
"Michael leaves with the sincerest thanks and best wishes of everyone at Manchester United after 15 years of exceptional service to the club as a player and as a coach. While we are sad to see him go, we respect and understand Michael’s decision," he said.
(Reporting by Simon Evans, Ediing by Ed Osmond)