Jesse Lingard clarified that his absence from Manchester United training was due to the club advising him to have time off for “personal reasons”.
Lingard was strongly linked with a move away from Old Trafford throughout the January transfer window due to a lack of first-team football and the fact his contract will expire in June.
Interim manager Ralf Rangnick confirmed he told Lingard he could leave if an agreement could be made with another club, but no such deal was struck.
Rangnick revealed on Thursday that Mason Greenwood’s unavailability “until further notice” was a factor in United’s decision to keep Lingard at the club.
But the German confirmed Lingard would not be involved against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on Friday after “he asked for a couple days off to clear up his mind”.
This led to some critics questioning Lingard’s commitment and others accusing United of pandering to players, with Rangnick also stating Edinson Cavani had been granted an extra couple of days off following his return from international duty.
But Lingard has hit back, insisting the club told him to take a step back.
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 percent
— Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) February 3, 2022
He wrote on his official Twitter account: “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.”
Among current United players to make at least one Premier League appearance this term, no one has been on the pitch for fewer minutes than Lingard (88).
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