Saturday, June 10, 2023

Lingard stayed at Man Utd partly due to Greenwood situation – Rangnick

SoccerNews in FA Cup 3 Feb 2022


Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick explained Jesse Lingard was not allowed to leave in January partly due to Mason Greenwood’s unavailability.

Greenwood was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of rape and assault following allegations made on social media.

He was then further arrested two days later on suspicion of sexual assault and threats to kill. Greenwood, who has not publicly commented on the allegations, was released on bail “pending further investigation” on Wednesday.

United confirmed on Sunday that the 20-year-old will not train or play for the club “until further notice”, with their statement stating they do “not condone violence of any kind”.

Lingard had been hoping to leave Old Trafford in search of regular first-team football, having only made two starts and 12 substitute appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils this season.

Newcastle United and West Ham – where he enjoyed a successful loan spell last season – were both reportedly interested, however United refused to sanction a move, with Rangnick outlining their reasons ahead of Friday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie with Middlesbrough.

“Three weeks ago, Jesse didn’t want to leave, then he changed his mind,” Rangnick told reporters. “I had a chat with him 10 days ago and could fully understand why he wanted to leave for game time, for his future and also for the World Cup.

“I said in case he found a club he wanted to play for and also found a solution with our club, I would allow him to leave. But obviously with all the developments in the last [few] days, things changed a little, and we also had no agreement with any other club.

“So at one stage we had to take a final decision with the board, and we decided to keep Jesse until the end of the season.”

When pressed further as to whether Greenwood’s arrest had been a factor, Rangnick added: “In a way, yes, but in the end the board told me they couldn’t find an agreement with those clubs interested in him, so with the window closing on Monday evening, in the afternoon the board said they would rather he stayed. 

“For me it was a decision I could fully understand and accept. It was two things, we had the problem with Mason Greenwood, being without a player for the time being who has played regularly, and then on the other hand the club couldn’t find an agreement with any other club.”

The German coach also confirmed Lingard had requested a couple of days to “clear up his mind”, with the 29-year-old set to miss the Middlesbrough match.

Despite the situation surrounding Greenwood, Rangnick felt United were able to have a “normal” week of training.

“We had a good and normal week of training, five sessions including today,” he said. “Obviously I suppose [Greenwood] was a topic within the team, but they are all human beings and Mason was part of the group before our break.

“It was a good week of training, we could train in normal circumstances and we are looking forward to the game.”


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