Jesse Lingard has disputed Ralf Rangnick’s claim that he requested time off to help clear his mind after Manchester United blocked his move from the club during the January transfer window. Newcastle, West Ham, where he stood out on loan last season, and Tottenham were among the suitors for the 29-year-old, who is out of contract at the end of the season, but United decided to keep him at Old Trafford. . Rangnick revealed on Thursday that the frustrated England midfielder had been granted a short leave of absence and would miss Friday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie against Middlesbrough.
But Lingard said it was the club’s decision to give him time out and that he was ready to play if asked.
“The club advised me to take a break for personal reasons!” he tweeted him.
“But I have a clear head and I will always be professional when called and I will give 100 per cent.”
Lingard’s rebuttal comes after Anthony Martial, now on loan at Sevilla, last month contradicted Rangnick’s claim that he refused to be in a match squad, saying he “would never disrespect the club”. .
Rangnick said the situation regarding Mason Greenwood was in part behind the decision to stick with Lingard for the rest of the season.
Greenwood, who was arrested Sunday on suspicion of rape and assault on a woman, was released on bail pending further investigation and remains suspended by United.
Rangnick compared Lingard’s situation to that of Paul Pogba, to whom the caretaker boss earlier suggested he might be motivated by the opportunity to get a new contract elsewhere.
The 28-year-old World Cup winner from France, who is also out of contract at the end of the season, will return to action on Friday after three months off with a thigh injury.
“It’s up to him now,” Rangnick said. “His contract expires in the summer and it doesn’t matter if in the end he would like to stay or go elsewhere, he has to show up.
“It is not only in our interest as a club, but also in his personal interest that he play and perform at the highest level possible in the next two weeks.”
Rangnick, who will start a two-year consultant role at United after completing his interim spell at the end of the current campaign, offered no clarity on Pogba’s future.
Asked if he was recommending or even urging the club to work out a new deal with Pogba, he said: “We haven’t talked about it until now, not only about the Paul situation, but also about other players with expiring contracts in the summer. We also didn’t talk about new players until now.”