Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has dismissed criticism that it was “classless” to deny Jesse Lingard a departure from Old Trafford earlier this week.
Ingard is one of a number of players set to leave United this summer as his contract expires in June, but although Rangnick bid farewell to home games to Juan Mata and Phil Jones in Monday night’s 3-0 win over Brentford, Edinson Cavani was awarded Lingard with 15 minutes to go.
That prompted Lingard’s brother Louie Scott to attack Rangnick on social media and reference Lingard’s two decades of service since joining United in 2000 aged seven.
Lingard has been a frustrated figure at Old Trafford this season. He was promised the opportunity to play more first-team football after being loaned out at West Ham last season but has only made four starts all season.
Rangnick said: “First of all he’s played a lot more games under my tenure in the last few weeks than he used to.
“Secondly, on the day of the match against Chelsea (on April 28th) he asked me to release him from the game and training the next day for family reasons.
“And that was the reason. With only three substitutes I had to choose between Edinson Cavani and Jesse Lingard or the youngster (Alejandro Garnacho) who I would have liked to have substituted and fielded.
“I made the decision to hire Edinson. Had I not brought Edinson, someone else might have asked if not bringing Cavani or Garnacho was classless. You have a choice to make and not everyone is going to like that – and that’s part of the game.”
You have a choice to make, and not everyone is going to like that – and that’s part of the gameRalph Rangnik
Lingard could be considered for Saturday’s trip to Brighton, with Marcus Rashford ruled out with bronchitis and Jadon Sancho ruled doubtful.
Rangnick also revealed Eric Bailly is out with back problems, joining Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba on the touchline, but Harry Maguire is back in training.
The club captain was dropped for the Arsenal visit on April 23 after his performances drew criticism and he has not played since due to knee problems.
“Harry is back in training,” Rangnick said. “He’s been training all week since day two after the Brentford game so tomorrow he’ll be available and be part of the group…
“(If he starts) is a decision I have to make after practice today. I don’t want to reveal the composition of the team to our opponents, but they will definitely be part of the group.”
Rangnick has yet to speak to new manager Erik ten Hag to share his thoughts on the United squad but said it will take place at the end of the season.
United have an away game at Crystal Palace in two weeks’ time after Brighton on the last matchday, while Ten Hag’s Ajax have three games left and are looking to maintain their four-point lead over PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie title race.
“We will definitely talk at the end of the season,” he said. “Both Erik and I want to focus fully on the remaining games, he has three to play and will give everything to win the title in the Netherlands.
“We agreed that at the end of the season we will chat and talk about everything.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/manchester-uniteds-ralf-rangnick-defends-decision-over-jesse-lingard-missing-out-on-old-trafford-send-off-41621519.html Manchester United’s Ralf Rangnick defends decision over Jesse Lingard missing Old Trafford farewell