red hot Man United boss Ralf Rangnick fires social media warning to players but says he hasn't fallen out with Jesse Lingard
Ralf Rangnick has urged his Manchester United players to keep any disputes in-house, but dismissed talk of a rift with Jesse Lingard.
Lingard denied Rangnick’s claims that he had asked for a few days off last week to “clear his mind” in the wake of a failed loan move to Newcastle by insisting that United advised him to take time off for personal reasons.
It was the second time in four weeks that Rangnick was contradicted by one of his players after Anthony Martial denied the interim manager’s claims that he refused to be in United’s squad for the Premier League game at Aston Villa last month. The two incidents did little to ease the sense of disquiet behind the scenes at Old Trafford.
Rangnick has admitted it would be better for any grievances to be discussed in private.
“It’s always better,” Rangnick said ahead of tonight’s Premier League game at Burnley. “I never, ever read or communicate by those social media accounts. I don’t exist there and wouldn’t have time to do that, so it’s always better (to keep things in-house) and I always communicate with the players directly. I did that with Anthony Martial and Jesse, but maybe I’m a different kind of generation.
“It’s always better to communicate directly. I know in both cases what I said to the players.”
Lingard has been included in the squad to face Burnley, along with striker Edinson Cavani, who also missed Friday’s FA Cup fourth-round defeat by Middlesbrough after being granted additional time off.
The England forward was denied a transfer to Newcastle in part due to the situation with Mason Greenwood. Greenwood, the 20-year-old striker, will not play matches or train until further notice after he was released on bail pending further investigation last week following his arrest on suspicion of rape, sexual assault and threats to kill.
“With regard to Jesse, I have a very good relationship with him,” Rangnick said. “He knows that I would have been willing to let him go [on loan], at least until the issue with Mason came up. He mentioned some personal issues, but there are no problems whatsoever between myself and Jesse, and vice versa.”
Midfielder Fred and defender Alex Telles will miss the Burnley match after testing positive for coronavirus. Rangnick said United should not be looking too far ahead to the summer, given the battle on their hands. “You just need to have a look at the table,” Rangnick said when asked how far away United were from winning the title again in the future. “This is a topic for the end of the season or maybe a couple of weeks before the end.
“Right now we are fourth in the league and everybody on the inside of the club, including myself, would be happy if we finish fourth.”
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