Ralf Rangnick has confirmed that Jesse Lingard will not play in Manchester United’s FA Cup game against Middlesbrough on Friday.
The England international has been given time off after failing to leave the club in the January transfer window, despite rumoured interest from Newcastle and West Ham, amongst others.
The 29-year-old has a contract that ends at the season’s end and he is able to negotiate a free transfer move abroad already.
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The German interim boss explained that the club wanted to keep Lingard for two reasons: one, there was no suitable offer and two, the club face a lengthy spell without Mason Greenwood following his arrest on suspicion of a number of offences.
Rangnick said: “Two things. One, we had a problem with Mason Greenwood and being without a player for the time being.
“Two, the club couldn’t find an agreement with another club.”
Rangnick explained Lingard’s absence, saying: “He asked me and the club if we could give him a couple of days off just to clear up his mind and he will be back in the group, I suppose, next Monday, back for training and then be a regular part of the whole squad again.”
One player who could feature is United midfielder Paul Pogba, who also appears set to run down the remaining months of his Old Trafford contract after three months away due to a thigh injury.
“Paul will be part of the group,” Rangnick said. “He might even be in the starting XI. There are still a couple of (other) players missing out.”
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