Ralf Rangnick says there are “no problems” between himself and Jesse Lingard, who is included in the Manchester United squad to face Burnley on Tuesday night.
Lingard was left out of Friday’s FA Cup fourth-round defeat against Middlesbrough after the United interim manager said the forward needed to take some time off to “clear up his mind”.
But Lingard took to social media soon after to contradict Rangnick’s comments, insisting his “headspace is clear” despite the United board blocking him from leaving in January amid interest from Newcastle and West Ham.
Despite the public disagreement, Rangnick says the pair have a “very good relationship” and the 29-year-old is now back in the squad, along with Edinson Cavani for Tuesday’s visit to Burnley in the Premier League.
The club advised me to have time off due to personal reasons! But my headspace is clear and I’ll always be professional when called upon and give 100 percent
— Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) February 3, 2022
Asked about Lingard and Cavani’s availability for the trip to Turf Moor, the German said: “Both are available and they will both be part of the squad for tomorrow’s game at Burnley.
“Both are top professionals and both have been training well.
“With regard to Jesse, I have a very good relationship with him. He knows that I would’ve been willing to let him go, at least until the issue with Mason (Greenwood) came up. All the other things have been spoken about, he [Lingard] mentioned some personal issues.
“But we have to look forward now. There are no problems whatsoever between myself and Jesse, and vice versa.
“I’m happy to have him in the squad and he will be a member of the squad for tomorrow’s game.”
Part of the reason for Lingard remaining at Old Trafford is the situation involving Mason Greenwood, which Rangnick alluded to in his pre-match news conference.
Greenwood, who was arrested last month on suspicion of the rape and assault of a woman, has been released on bail pending further investigation and remains suspended by United.
Rangnick undermined again?
It is the second time in recent months a Manchester United player has offered a different version of events to Rangnick via social media.
Last month, Anthony Martial denied a claim from Rangnick that he refused to be part of the squad for a Premier League game at Aston Villa.
Rangnick said “he didn’t want to be in the squad”. Martial later said on Instagram he would “never refuse to play a match for Man United”.
Ornstein: Man Utd-Lingard situation ‘an absolute mess’
Lingard and Manchester United’s differences should never have entered the public domain, according to David Ornstein of The Athletic, who still believes there is a role for the 29-year-old to play at Old Trafford despite falling out with his manager.
“I’m not surprised to see Lingard respond the way he did because the initial shot was made when Rangnick went public. Lingard is perfectly entitled to stick up for himself and if he feels his situation needs to be clarified he’s going to do so,” Ornstein said.
“This is an absolute mess. After the Martial comments, we have another senior Manchester United player and international seemingly at loggerheads with his club, in particular the manager, although I’m not sure the manager is the clear target, it’s the hierarchy above Rangnick who blocked Lingard’s proposed loan before the transfer deadline.
“This public disagreement is not healthy for anybody at United, it really should be sorted out behind the scenes. If there are personal or mental health reasons at play, this really should be going on and being sorted out in the background.
“To all intents and purposes, Lingard will be leaving Manchester United as a free agent in the summer. He wanted to go in January, it probably should have been sorted out then. Perhaps United are now seeing the repercussions and it’s pretty ugly.
“With Donny van de Beek and Martial having left on loan, and the issues surrounding Mason Greenwood, there is a very good chance Lingard will get game time.
“We don’t know exactly what has gone on behind the scenes but if Lingard is to stay at United until the summer before some sort of termination it would suit all parties to reintegrate him, build bridges, repair some of the damage, and get him back in the team.
“He is a valuable asset to Manchester United, he’s got a unique skillset they could do with. This doesn’t need to be as acrimonious as it has been so far. It’s really up to Manchester United to step up to the plate, speak to Lingard, and hopefully come to an amicable solution.”
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Source : Sky Sports