Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has reiterated that he wanted Jesse Lingard in his squad for the FA Cup fourth-round match with Middlesbrough.
Lingard – who was strongly linked with a move to Newcastle in the January transfer window – was not in the squad after Rangnick claimed that the 29-year-old had asked for time off.
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The England international disputed those claims on social media, commenting: “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 per cent.”
After the defeat to Middlesbrough, Rangnick was again questioned about Lingard’s availability.
“I told you what my information was and my knowledge was, and of course, I would have loved to have had Jesse in the squad,” he said.
“We were one outfield player less on the teamsheet today, so why would I have allowed him to have four or five days off?
” I would have loved to have had him in the squad but it was not the case and therefore, it doesn’t make sense to speak about players who were not available.”
Meanwhile, Rangnick is hopeful Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes will be fit for Tuesday’s return to Premier League action at Burnley.
Sancho – who scored United’s opener and also struck the crossbar – made way for Juan Mata in the 100th-minute but appeared to have indicated he needed to be withdrawn before extra-time, with worries he may have hurt his hamstring.
Fernandes sustained a heavy blow to his back when landing awkwardly in extra-time and required treatment but carried on for the entirety of the match.
“Bruno had a knock on his back but could play through the whole game.
“Hopefully, for Tuesday, we will have all of those players available again.”
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