Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick says the events surrounding Mason Greenwood‘s arrest have been on the players’ minds ahead of his side’s FA Cup fourth round tie against Middlesbrough tomorrow.
Speaking at today’s press conference ahead of the tiie, Rangnick said that the week’s training had been good but the subject had been discussed among the team.
‘We had a good and normal week of training, with five sessions including today,’ he said.
‘Obviously I suppose it was a topic within the team, but they are human beings and Mason was a part of the group until before we had our break.’
He was then asked whether Greenwood’s absence was the reason that Jesse Lingard had not gone out on loan.
‘Three weeks ago, Jesse diidn’t want to leave, then he changed his mind,’ Rangnick explained.
‘I had a chat with him some 10 days ago and I could fully understand why he wanted to leave and get game time for his future, for the World Cup.
‘I said … I would allow him to leave … but obviously with all the developments we’ve had in the last couple of days, things changed a little bit.
‘On the other hand, we also had no agreement with any other club so we also had to take a final decision together with the board, and we decided to rather keep Jesse until the end of the season.
‘In a way [Greenwood’s arrest was a factor], yes, but also the board told me they couldn’t find an agreement with any of those clubs that were interested in him.
‘With the transfer window closing on Monday, in the afternoon the board told me they wanted him to stay. And that, for me, was a decision I could fully understand and accept.’
Rangnick was asked about injury news for tomorrow’s game.
‘Paul [Pogba] will be a part of the group, he may even be in the starting XI,’ he said.
‘There are still a couple of players missing. Edi Cavani will only return at the weekend, he contacted me a week ago and asked me if he could have two more days at home.
‘I agreed because I knew he couldn’t be in the starting XI anyway with jetlag and coming back today or last night.
‘Victor Lindelof has been ill all week and not training so he will also miss out on tomorrow’s game.
‘The same is also true of Jesse, he asked me and the club if he could have a couple of days off just to clear his mind and he will be back in the group next Monday.
‘Eric Bailly, he came back yesterday, he has some problems with a swollen ankle and will therefore not be a part of the squad tomorrow.
‘All the other players are available.’
Rangnick also suggested that Alex Telles could be rested after playing 90 minutes for Brazil early yesterday morning.