EPL

Rangnick urges Man Utd players to communicate in person, not via social media

By Sports Desk February 08, 2022

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has urged players to communicate with him and the club in person rather than unloading on social media.

Rangnick made his plea to United players after two similar occurrences in a matter of weeks, with Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard contradicting the German with social media posts.

Martial was the first to break ranks last month, writing on his personal Instagram account that he "will never refuse to play a match for Man Utd" after Rangnick claimed the Frenchman was not involved against Aston Villa because "he didn't want to be in the squad".

Then, last week, Rangnick revealed Lingard was not going to be in the squad to face Middlesbrough in the FA Cup because the midfielder asked for "a couple of days off just to clear his mind".

Many assumed that was in relation to Lingard failing to secure a move away from Old Trafford in January, and Rangnick's words resulted in criticism for the 29-year-old.

But he later wrote on his official Twitter account that "the club advised me to have time off due to personal reasons".

Rangnick has attempted to draw a line in the sand, though he wants players to be direct with him rather than going public.

"It's always better [to communicate in person]," Rangnick told reporters. "I never, ever read or communicate by social media accounts, I don't even exist there, to be honest, I wouldn't have time to do that.

"Therefore it's always better [to communicate in face-to-face]. I always communicate with the players directly, like I did with Anthony Martial and with Jesse. But maybe I am a different generation, my generation never grew up with these kinds of things [social media].

"For me, it's always better to communicate directly, but again it's time to look ahead. I know in both cases what I said to the players, and what happened, so for me, there is no reason to discuss this anymore."

Lingard is one of four members of United's first-team squad whose contract expires in June, with Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Juan Mata all seemingly set to leave.

While there has been no official communication from any of them, Rangnick seemed disinterested in the situation, adamant their focus should be on playing well anyway.

Asked if he thinks any of them will leave, Rangnick said: "I don't know. It's far too early to speak about that, and in the end, it's also a question of what the players want and how the club see it.

"But these are not interesting topics for us right now, right now it is to get the best out of the season and these players.

"Even if they want to leave at the end of the season, the chance to get an offer from any club, including Manchester United, is to play well."

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