Ralf Rangnick is confident Harry Maguire will not face abuse from Manchester United after he was jeered while on international duty with England.

Maguire's name was booed ahead of England's 3-0 friendly win over Ivory Coast on Tuesday, a reaction that was widely criticised by Gareth Southgate and his Three Lions players.

Southgate described the response at Wembley as "an absolute joke", while Harry Kane, Jordan Henderson, Jack Grealish and Declan Rice all came out in defence of Maguire.

Given the centre-back has played a key role in England's runs to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and Euro 2020 final, the vocal criticism appeared to relate more to his club form.

Maguire, who is the United captain, has come under scrutiny in a tough season at Old Trafford.

However, interim United manager Rangnick does not expect he will experience a similar reaction from his home fans at club level.

Asked if he had yet spoken to Maguire about the incident, Rangnick replied: "Not yet, but I speak regularly since I'm here, so he knows my position towards him.

"He's been a very valuable player for the team and the club, the captain.

"I didn't understand what happened at Wembley, it won't happen in our stadium with the Red Army behind the team and our captain. He's been playing well for Manchester United and England in the last couple of years.

"Gareth Southgate said something after the game and Harry Kane. I didn't watch the game, but I heard what had happened after they announced the starting line-up. It's difficult to understand.

"I don't speak to them in person, but I'm pretty sure it won't happen in our stadium. For it to happen in an international game is pretty unusual."

Rangnick was then asked if he could explain why Maguire in particular received such criticism for his United displays.

"I don't think this is a personal thing," he responded. "It hasn't anything to do with Harry himself.

"We know there are one or two players who have been criticised in the last few months. For example, Fred, a very important player for this team, playing regularly for the team and Brazil. I watched his game and he did well.

"Maybe it's still got to do with the high expectations around this club and maybe people tend to compare with former players and legends.

"Fred, we can also speak about Scotty [McTominay] and Harry, they are important players and players with the right attitude."

While Rangnick reserved plenty of time ahead of Saturday's game against Leicester City to discuss how Maguire and Fred fared during the international break, he was less interested by a Paul Pogba interview during his time with France in which he described this as another "dead" season at United.

"I've got enough to do now to prepare the team for the next game," Rangnick said. "Tomorrow's game is another important one, and I don't think it makes sense to interpret or just judge what he has maybe said in an interview, it doesn't make sense.

"That's something you can do if you want. For me, it's only important to judge him."

Former Lyon manager Rudi Garcia has said he was close to being appointed manager of Manchester United earlier this season.

The Red Devils eventually opted to hire Ralf Rangnick as interim manager in November following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The club is expected to hire another permanent manager at the end of the season, which will end without a trophy after they were knocked out of the Champions League round of 16 by Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, losing the second leg 1-0 at Old Trafford.

Garcia has managed several clubs throughout his career, including Lille, Roma and Marseille, but the French coach has been out of work since leaving Lyon at the end of last season.

Speaking to Le Figaro, Garcia revealed he had offers from several clubs across Europe, but United was the closest he came to being appointed.

"I had several offers, in England, Spain and France, but the most advanced, and which almost went as far as the end, was with Manchester United," he said.

"I saw John Murtough (United's director of football) and Darren Fletcher (technical director). I told them that I had to work on my English and Darren, who is Scottish, had a joke telling me that I didn't have the level yet with the Scottish accent to answer, but that was fine."

The club's form has been up and down since Rangnick arrived, and they currently find themselves one point off the top four in the Premier League, but having played three games more than fourth-placed Arsenal, and have been knocked out of both the FA Cup and the Champions League.

Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag have both been strongly linked with the permanent job at Old Trafford at the end of the campaign, though both were also knocked out of the Champions League at the round of 16 stage, with Paris Saint-Germain losing to Real Madrid and Ajax being eliminated by Benfica.

Garcia has said he would like to return to management soon and is not putting too many limits on where he is willing to work.

"I would like to find a club that plays in the Champions League or has the capacity to qualify for it," he added "I have a preference for England or Spain, but I'm not saying no to Germany, France or Italy.

"If it is, you will find me in an exotic country in a few months, because I won't have found anything that lived up to my expectations. But today, I want to find a club again next season, because after almost twelve months off, I'm itching."

Anthony Martial acknowledged he fell out of love with football at Manchester United before rediscovering his enjoyment on loan at Sevilla.

Julen Lopetegui's side staved off interest from Juventus and Barcelona to secure the services of Martial on loan in January after limited opportunities at Old Trafford this season.

Rangnick confirmed in December that the 26-year-old wanted to leave due to a lack of first-team chances – he had played the full 90 minutes of a game only once this season and featured for just eight minutes since the German's arrival.

Martial has since registered 297 minutes of action for Sevilla across all competitions, with Lopetegui's team second in LaLiga - 10 points behind Real Madrid - and still in contention for the Europa League.

Sevilla face West Ham in the return leg of their last-16 clash on Thursday in Europe's secondary club competition, and Martial will be hoping to add to his current tally of one goal in six games.

Despite not finding his feet in front of goal as of yet, Martial expressed how much he is enjoying life in Spain.

"For me, it was the best option to play and enjoy football again. I lost it [love for the game] a little bit in Manchester because I was not playing," Martial told the Daily Mail.

"I feel very good in Sevilla. The city is very good and we are a good team so, for me, it's perfect. I'm playing so I'm happy.

"But I'm here just until the end of the season and that's it."


Martial became the most expensive teenager in history at the time when he completed a move worth up to £58million (€69m) from Monaco in 2015.

The France international hit the ground running in Manchester, finishing the 2019-20 campaign as United's top scorer with 23 goals.

However, the arrival of Rangnick caused problems after a well-publicised rift between the pair following the German's claims that Martial refused to feature against Aston Villa, which the player denied.

"I asked United to leave because I wanted to play," he added. "I still have a contract but they know what I want, so we will see at the end of the season.

"When he [Rangnick] arrived, my objective was to leave. I told him I wanted to leave and that's it.

"He talked to me and said, 'If you want to stay, with the way you train you will play if you keep training like that'. But I wanted to have a new atmosphere and a new club."

Martial refused to suggest he will use the Sevilla loan as a chance to prove a point to United, but he will use the opportunity to show his worth to France ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

"I'm just going there to win and help the team," he continued. "I don't care what people say about me. Really.

"The World Cup for me is an objective. I want to be part of this group and that's why I'm here because I want to play and show I can be in the squad. I need to show my quality and score goals."

Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes criticised a lack of leadership and planning at Manchester United following their Champions League exit at home to Atletico Madrid.

With Renan Lodi's first-half goal putting Atleti up 2-1 on aggregate, United eventually went out tamely as they struggled to create much of substance while chasing the result.

According to former United centre-back Ferdinand, the biggest difference between the two teams was not on the pitch but rather with Ralf Rangnick and Diego Simeone in the respective dugouts.

"The difference between the two teams, the Atletico team, they had a group of reliable men, reliable men who would go out there and do anything the manager asked of them," Ferdinand told BT Sport.

"They understand the job at hand and they work together as a team. Whereas the other team, Man Utd, they’re looking at each other like, 'Who's going to pull us out of this? Who's going to pull the magic trick out of the hat?'

"It's not about the team getting through this. It's a moment of brilliance from an individual and it's a very different way of working."

Ferdinand hedged his comments, though, saying the club needs to patiently progress when they bring in a manager, a process which has reportedly already begun behind the scenes.

"Once you get the manager, getting the right person, you're talking minimum of two, three years before you can think about challenging, and with Manchester City and Liverpool it's a high bar," Ferdinand continued.

Scholes delivered a particularly blunt assessment, asserting interim manager Rangnick is not meeting expectations with the squad he has at his disposal.

"The coach is a massive part of it, getting a proper coach. This isn't a terrible group of players, if you give them structure and a way of playing, there's some real talent in this squad. It's not as talented as the teams above them, we know that," he said.

"The very first thing this club needs to do, to get anywhere near winning anything, is get a proper coach. Get a coach that suits them and give them a couple of years to build a squad that will challenge.

"Atletico are not a better team than Man United, but they've got a better coach. If he [Simeone] was coaching Man United, they go through that game.

"What it comes from is leadership. It comes from a coach who demands that and will get that out of his players. I don't want to keep having a go at this manager. He seems real nice, I love his interviews, he's very honest, but how he was chosen to be manager of this club – whether it's for six months, six weeks, six games – I don't know."

Ralf Rangnick is convinced Manchester United's season is not over despite Tuesday's 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid dumping them out of the Champions League. 

United claimed a commendable – albeit fortunate – 1-1 draw in Madrid last month as they looked to reach the quarter-finals for only the third time since finishing as runners-up in 2010-11. 

While they were dominant over Atletico in the return leg at Old Trafford, United found their visitors immensely difficult to break down. 

A Renan Lodi header just before half-time ultimately proved decisive and left United with little to play for over the rest of the season. 

While they are not out of the hunt for a top-four spot in the Premier League just yet, the Red Devils trail Arsenal by a point and the Gunners have three games in hand. 

Despite the rather bleak outlook, Rangnick does not believe United's season is a write-off. 

He told BT Sport: "It's now too early. We still have another nine games to play in the Premier League. We will try to finish off this season in the highest possible level. 

"We want to qualify for the Champions League again and we're fully aware that to do that we have to win most of those nine games. 

finishing the highest possible level with this team. Then it is time to speak about other things." 

While Rangnick accepts United's performance was another example of their seemingly chronic inability to maintain a certain level for a full game, he was also frustrated by referee Slavko Vincic's refusal to award a free-kick for an apparent foul on Anthony Elanga in the build-up to Atletico's goal. 

"A very good first half and the second half was difficult to find the rhythm again," he continued. 

"We know they are good at defending leads. We had one or two moments in the second half and there was a brilliant save from the goalkeeper. We were fully aware that against this team you need to score the first goal yourself." 

On the perceived foul, which Rangnick felt fed into a wider narrative of questionable refereeing, the German added: "That was a foul for sure on Anthony Elanga but the referee and the linesman didn't see it that way. 

"For me, that was the only real moment, and the offside goal, that they scored with. Apart from that, we defended well and we were compact in their transition moments. There is nothing I can blame the team for in the first half. 

"It was hard in the second half and always interrupted. There was always somebody lying on the floor. 

"I would also say some curious refereeing decisions. I wouldn't say they were decisive but at least he fell too often for those time-wasting antics and four minutes at the end added on was a joke for me." 

Ralf Rangnick's tenure as Manchester United interim manager has not been a resounding success.

While United have climbed from seventh in the Premier League when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked to fifth, closing the gap to the top four from six points to one, fourth-placed Arsenal have three games in hand and should expect to qualify for the Champions League.

United's hopes of returning to Europe's elite club competition next year – by which time Rangnick will likely have moved upstairs – might instead rest on success in this year's tournament.

Atletico Madrid visit Old Trafford on Wednesday with their last-16 tie level at 1-1, apparently finely balanced – although the first leg was anything but. United were hugely fortunate to escape with a draw after lacking any real fluency in Spain.

Real Madrid great Cristiano Ronaldo will still no doubt be eagerly anticipating this match following his Tottenham hat-trick, but repeating those heroics represents a tall order. He will need help – and the manager's job is to provide that.

Although Rangnick has so far failed to deliver a coherent side able to produce consistent performances, that is not to say there have not been success stories of his reign.

And perhaps Jadon Sancho, who is definitely one of those, can be the man to lift United and their talisman this week.

Sancho is now finding form after a tough start to life at Old Trafford that was somewhat overshadowed by the various other issues United have faced this season, both before and since Solskjaer's sacking.

At another club, Sancho's struggles would have been front and centre, as he remarkably failed to contribute either a goal or an assist in 14 appearances for Solskjaer in all competitions.

That was certainly not what United envisaged when they paid £73million for an England winger whose 107 goal involvements (50 goals, 57 assists) for Borussia Dortmund arrived every 93 minutes on average.

There would have been relief then when Sancho was the star of Michael Carrick's short stint as caretaker, following his first United goal at Villarreal with a second at Chelsea.

Yet more than two months passed before Sancho scored again, kickstarting a vastly improved spell under Rangnick – a coach belatedly having the transformative effect on the 21-year-old many had forecast.

Rangnick's preference for a pressing game was expected to suit Sancho, whose Dortmund in the Bundesliga last season allowed the fifth-fewest opposition passes per defensive action (PPDA – 11.0) and won the fourth-most high turnovers (329).

Under Solskjaer, United ranked a passive 14th in PPDA (14.4), yet that statistic has not altered as drastically as one might have imagined; since Rangnick's appointment, United are 12th (13.3).

Others who have flourished under Rangnick have still done so by leading the press – Fred (51.8) and Anthony Elanga (51.2) rank first and second for Premier League pressures per 90 by United players since the interim boss came in – whereas the speed of United's attacking once they win possession has suited Sancho.

Opta defines a direct attack as "an open play sequence that starts just inside the team's own half and has at least 50 per cent of movement towards the opposition's goal, and ends in a shot or a touch in the opposition box".

Since the start of February, United have scored four league goals from such attacks – twice as many as any other side. Sancho has been involved in all four, striking on the break against both Southampton and Manchester City while laying on assists for Bruno Fernandes and Fred at Leeds United.

The goal at City may have counted for little on a dark day for United, but Sancho has been flying since scoring on his return to the team against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on February 4, having been granted a period of leave following a death in his family.

"Jadon Sancho is now getting closer to the Jadon Sancho I've known from Germany," Rangnick said at the weekend. "In the end it's all about confidence. Game time, confidence. Confidence, game time. He was performing at a very high level."

He added: "This is what he should be. The club paid quite a few pounds for him in order to lure him away from Borussia Dortmund, and if you pay that amount of money in a transfer fee for a player, he should perform on this kind of level."

Rangnick was speaking after the win against Tottenham, where there was finally a goal courtesy of his combination play with Ronaldo.

It was suggested earlier in the season the pair could not work together – and the woes of both Sancho and United might agree with that argument – but the rapid run in behind and pinpoint square pass for the second of Ronaldo's three goals were evidence of how this attack can succeed.

Ronaldo can continue to thrive with that sort of service, while Sancho only looks better for having a focal point to play off in the mould of former Dortmund team-mate Erling Haaland.

Now, with 13 goals in his past 15 home games against Atletico, including two hat-tricks in the last four, do not bet against Ronaldo proving the difference again on Tuesday. Also, do not bet against Sancho being the man to supply him.

Ralf Rangnick has no concerns over Cristiano Ronaldo's powers of recovery as Manchester United prepare to face Atletico Madrid three days on from his match-winning performance against Tottenham.

Having missed the Manchester derby due to a hip flexor injury, Ronaldo's hat-trick lifted United to a crucial 3-2 win at Old Trafford as they chase a place in the Premier League top four and Champions League football for next season.

Their attention now turns to this campaign's Champions League competition and the second leg of their last-16 tie with Atletico on Tuesday.

United drew 1-1 in the first leg in Madrid, and the emphasis is likely to be placed on Ronaldo to secure their place in the quarter-finals.

Ronaldo has netted 13 goals in his last 15 home games against Atletico across all competitions.

That figure includes a pair of hat-tricks in his four most recent such meetings with the Rojiblancos, both of which came in the Champions League.

He scored a hat-trick against Atletico in the 2017 semi-finals for Real Madrid and repeated the feat for Juventus in the round of 16 in 2019 as the Bianconeri completed a remarkable second-leg turnaround.

Rangnick is unsure whether Ronaldo has another treble in his locker this time around, but is confident the 37-year-old will be ready to try to fire the Red Devils into the last eight.

He told a media conference on Monday: "I'm not worried that he has not been able to recover so far. He's always been a person who looks quite a lot after himself, his body, he exactly knows what to do so I'm not worried about that.

"If he can score another three goals we will see. It's not so easy to score three goals against this team at all. His overall performance was just good [against Tottenham], if not even very good, and this is obviously what we hope to get from him again tomorrow night.

"It's not only about Cristiano, it's about the whole team. We saw in the first half in Madrid what we shouldn't do, how we should not play, this was obviously a big topic for us yesterday and today when we spoke pre-match about tomorrow's game.

"We have to know what it takes and what it tactically takes and the rest is all about energy. We were the team on Saturday against Spurs who just wanted to win that game and that was obvious.

"Our supporters played a vital role; they realised how much we wanted to win that game and tomorrow it will be similar."

Bruno Fernandes was said to be in a race to be available to face Atletico after contracting COVID-19. However, Rangnick confirmed he trained on Monday after testing negative.

Left-back Luke Shaw is a "small question-mark" for the game but trained on Sunday and Monday.

Bruno Fernandes has tested positive for COVID-19 and could miss Manchester United's crucial Champions League home clash with Atletico Madrid.

The playmaker missed Saturday's 3-2 win over Tottenham at Old Trafford, with his absence put down to an undisclosed illness.

Details have now emerged from interim manager Ralf Rangnick, who said Fernandes faced a race against time to be ready for the last-16 second leg on Tuesday.

Luke Shaw could be back from a coronavirus lay-off, while Rangnick is hopeful midfielder Scott McTominay will be able to feature after a calf problem.

Speaking of Fernandes, Rangnick said: "I don't know. With Scotty, I hope so, but he had some muscular problems with his calf. That's why we decided not to play him [against Tottenham], because Scotty, quite like Fred, is only valuable if he can perform with 100 per cent of his physical capacity.

"Luke hopefully will be back in training Monday and Bruno we will have to wait and see until Tuesday. This will probably be a last-minute race with him – due to COVID."

Fernandes has been United's chief creative force in the Champions League this season, with his six assists putting him four ahead of Shaw, who is second on that list at the club. He has also created a team-high 20 chances in the competition, with Cristiano Ronaldo next with nine.

Ronaldo's hat-trick against Tottenham has raised hopes that he can make a telling difference in Europe, too, with United level at 1-1 with Atletico after the first leg in Spain.

Rangnick said of his 37-year-old superstar striker: "He can be a leader with a performance like that. This is what I have been telling him since I arrived, that with this kind of performance he can be one of the engines of the team.

"We have quite a few other players who can do the same, including Fred, Harry [Maguire], Rapha [Raphael Varane], Victor [Lindelof], whoever. Even Edi [Edinson Cavani], when he came on, the last 10 or 15 minutes showed how important and what kind of role he can still play. I wish him to be available until the end of the season."

Rangnick was pleased with Jadon Sancho against Tottenham, with a notable assist for Ronaldo's second goal reflecting the winger's growing influence.

Sancho arrived with a big reputation from Borussia Dortmund last year and the 21-year-old did not immediately make the expected impact, but he is beginning to catch the eye.

"This is what he should be," said Rangnick, quoted on United's official website. "The club paid quite a few pounds for him in order to lure him away from Borussia Dortmund and if you pay that amount of money in a transfer fee for a player, he should perform on this kind of level.

"At the end, they are all human beings. The mere fact he cost a lot of money does not mean that he is playing at that level to start with.

"He told me that of course it was a problem for him to get adjusted to the intensity of the league, to the physicality of the league. Now he has managed to do that. I'm happy to see him play at that kind of level right now."

Cristiano Ronaldo said there are "no limits" for Manchester United after hitting a superb hat-trick to guide the Red Devils to a 3-2 win over Tottenham.

Ronaldo netted his second Premier League treble to boost United's hopes of Champions League qualification, doing so 14 years and 59 days after scoring three in a 6-0 win against Newcastle United, marking the longest gap between a player's first and second hat-tricks in the competition's history.

After his 49th career hat-trick, the Portuguese legend has also scored a treble in each of the last 13 seasons of his club career, a run which stretches back to the 2009-10 campaign.

The Old Trafford victory lifted United into the Premier League's top four, albeit having played four games more than fifth-placed Arsenal, and Ronaldo said he was "tremendously happy" with his performance in a social media post.

"Tremendously happy with my first hat-trick since I came back to Old Trafford!" the 37-year wrote on Instagram.

"Nothing beats the feeling of being back on the pitch and help the team with goals and effort. 

"We've proven once again that we can beat any team in any given day, as long as we work hard and stand together as one.

"There are no limits for Man United! No matter what! Let's go, Devils!"

Despite United's struggles this term, the former Real Madrid and Juventus star has hit 12 league goals since returning to the club last summer, placing him top of their goalscoring charts.

However, interim manager Ralf Rangnick joked that his top goalscorer should always prepare in that fashion after his superb showing, also praising his work ethic in training.

"We were just joking a little bit," Rangnick laughed. "Maybe it makes sense to send him to Portugal for three days, then have him not train for two days, then have him back in training on Thursday!

"By the way, he performed on a similar kind of level on Thursday in training, that's why I decided after that training session, although he had been out from a week, to play him from the start. 

"Maybe we have to do that for the rest of the season."

United became the first team to hit 400 Premier League home wins after beating Spurs, against whom they have enjoyed 23 Old Trafford victories in the competition. No side has beaten another opponent more often at home in the league's history.

Ralf Rangnick admitted it is "a challenge" to manage Cristiano Ronaldo after he savoured the Manchester United striker's hat-trick in Saturday's 3-2 win against Tottenham.

Ronaldo gave United the lead on three occasions, and they eventually managed to cling on after a thumping header from the 37-year-old in the 81st minute again tilted the game the way of the hosts.

He struck an opener from 25 yards, sprinted to get on the end of Jadon Sancho's cross for his second, and delivered a performance that left Ronaldo's admirers purring in appreciation.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was imperious, but it has not always been that way during his first season back at Old Trafford.

Before this game, Ronaldo had just one Premier League goal in 2022, and there have been questions raised about whether he will remain a United player next season.

Rangnick was asked about what it takes to manage such a superstar figure, who reached 807 career goals on the way to sinking Antonio Conte's visitors, who twice equalised through a Harry Kane penalty and Harry Maguire own goal.

"It is challenging, and it is a challenge with a player like him," the United interim manager told Sky Sports. "But he showed today that he's still got the quality to play for a club like Manchester United.

"But he's also a part of the team and if we want to be successful at the end of the season, we can only do it together."

Ronaldo missed the Manchester derby last week with a hip flexor injury. Former United captain Roy Keane was among those who asked whether there was perhaps more behind Ronaldo being sidelined for that game, a suspicion Rangnick has denied.

The German was floored by how good Ronaldo was against Tottenham, a real throwback to his peak years at Real Madrid.

"At least since I arrived, his best performance," Rangnick said. "Not only because he scored three goals, two brilliant goals... he was also energetically good.

"He was part of the whole team when we had to defend, and we had to defend a lot. Top performance by him, but also by the rest of the team."

There is a theory that Ronaldo is now the world's all-time record scorer, overtaking Josef Bican, an Austrian-Czech who was prolific in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.

Official records from that time can be difficult to ratify, and Czech FA experts have previously put Bican's figure at 821 goals rather than the often-stated figure of 805.

Rangnick is more concerned with what Ronaldo is achieving in the present day.

"I didn't expect him to score three goals, but I expected him to score, that's why I decided to play him even though he only resumed training on Thursday," Rangnick said.

"His training session on Thursday was so good, that's why I [decided to] bring him from the start and not have him on the bench, and in the end, it was the right decision.

"He didn't train for a week, and I wasn't sure if his hip flexor was good enough to let him play.

"I had a conversation with him before the training session on Friday, and he told me that he's fully fit and he can play, and that's why he started."

Cristiano Ronaldo was back in the Manchester United team to face Tottenham on Saturday after missing the derby drubbing, but there was no Bruno Fernandes.

The absence of Ronaldo for last Sunday's 4-1 defeat to Manchester City sparked a fresh wave of speculation about the 37-year-old's United future.

It was put down to a hip problem by interim manager Ralf Rangnick, but former United captain Roy Keane was among those who questioned whether that told the full story.

Ronaldo's Manchester derby absence came after a run of one goal and zero assists in 10 games for United in all competitions this calendar year. That compares to 12 goals and three assists in his opening 19 games upon returning to United from Juventus at the end of August.

He was restored for the visit of Spurs, but Portuguese compatriot Fernandes was surprisingly not involved, three days before United tackle Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.

Rangnick said: "Bruno is ill, unfortunately. He couldn't train yesterday and is therefore not available for the game. Hopefully, he will be back for Tuesday but, today, he is out."

NFL legend Tom Brady, a friend of Tottenham striker Harry Kane, was at Old Trafford for the game.

There was a United start for Marcus Rashford, whose own future has been cast into doubt by reports suggesting he could seek a move at the end of the season. He replaced Anthony Elanga, while Edinson Cavani was named on the bench after recent fitness worries.

Goalkeeper David De Gea featured for the home side after a COVID-19 false positive, while Raphael Varane was back from a coronavirus absence to start alongside Harry Maguire in central defence.

Rangnick told MUTV: "We had a false positive test on David De Gea last night. We then decided to have a second test that was negative and then a PCR test that was negative again, and that's why we can play him after all."

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford could decide to leave at the end of the season but has told Ralf Rangnick he is "still happy" at Old Trafford, the interim boss said.

Rangnick says he is working to get the best out of the 24-year-old England international, although reports have suggested Rashford may seek a move away from the club he has represented throughout his senior career.

He was reportedly unhappy after being left out of the starting XI for United's 4-1 defeat to Manchester City last weekend.

After hitting double figures for goals in three consecutive Premier League campaigns, Rashford has scored just four league goals in 18 appearances this campaign, and has seen just 867 minutes of game time in the English top flight.

Speaking ahead of United's Saturday clash with fellow top-four hopefuls Tottenham, Rangnick, who earlier called for the attacker to carry his training performances into games, insisted Rashford has not said anything about wanting a move.

"I spoke with him yesterday [Thursday] and the day before yesterday," the 63-year-old said, according to several UK newspapers. "I don't know anything about that.

"He didn't say anything to me, he said to me that he is still happy and that he wants to perform on a high level for the club. There was no mention of him not being happy here.

"The window is closed right now. Even suppose he and his agents or his family at one stage of the summer think about maybe going to another club, well, then he can do that, but in the summer.

"Now the window is closed. It's got nothing to do with tomorrow's game or the game on Tuesday [against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League]."

Despite leaving Rashford out of the line-up for last Sunday's defeat, even in the absence of both Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo, Rangnick insists he rates the one-time teenage prodigy highly and wishes to help him to grow.

"I like Marcus as a player," he said. "I've had a few in the past in former clubs where they had problems at one stage, but it's our job to help him, to get the best Marcus Rashford that he can be.

"This is my job right now, and I'm putting all my energy and time into that to achieve that."

Ahead of their clash with Spurs, United are winless in their last three games in all competitions, recording two wins and a draw. They have not gone longer without a win since a run of six winless games in September and October 2019.

Edinson Cavani says he has struggled "mentally" with missing so much football due to injury problems this season.

The Uruguayan has made only 19 appearances for Manchester United in his second campaign at the club, with his regular absences becoming a source of frustration among fans.

Interim manager Ralf Rangnick suggested last week that Cavani ruled himself out of the Manchester derby, which was not the first time the German alluded to such a situation.

Rangnick also said last month that Cavani "said he's just not available" for the Premier League game with Southampton after noticing a groin problem in training.

Certain sections of the United support and media have accused the club of pandering to the Uruguayan, with Cavani allowed to miss the start of the season and then granted permission to return late from international duty in early February.

But the thigh injury Cavani has suffered with in recent weeks has also seemingly been frustrating for the striker, who Rangnick confirmed on Friday is in contention to face Tottenham this Saturday.

Speaking to United's official website, Cavani said: "Yes, I've been unfortunate to be out through injury, and for a longer period than I'm used to.

"I've never been used to spending this length of time on the sidelines. It's something that I'm finding very difficult, something which is very tough.

"Mentally, it's not easy either, because when you're not used to it, it really is extremely hard to take on board what is happening and seeing your team-mates each game going out on to the pitch, either for training or to play in a match, and you can't be joining them out there.

"It's hard to take, and it's really frustrating that you're feeling like that, and it makes you a bit anxious and really keen to be wanting to be fit and ready as quickly as possible."

Cavani last played for United on February 8 in the 1-1 draw at Burnley. He has scored just two goals this season.

Marcus Rashford must transfer his training-ground displays into matches if he is to hold down a starting spot for Manchester United, interim manager Ralf Rangnick has said.

The England international has this week been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, where he has spent his seven-year career to date, after reportedly growing frustrated.

He has struggled for playing time and was left out of United's XI for last weekend's defeat to Manchester City, despite the absence of a recognised centre-forward in the squad.

Rashford is pushing for a recall when United host Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday, but Rangnick has not offered the academy product any assurances.

Instead, the German has challenged Rashford to prove his quality on the pitch when the time arrives.

"Marcus has to play on the same level he trains. This is all," Rangnick said at Friday's pre-match news conference.

"Marcus is training well, he's got an abundant amount of talent, almost everything you need for a modern striker.

"It's now about transforming the performance of the training sessions into the regular games."

Rashford has scored five goals and assisted two more in 24 appearances for United in all competitions this term, the forward having contributed to 0.49 goals per 90 minutes.

That compares to 0.69 for Jesse Lingard, who leads the way among United players, albeit having played far fewer minutes than most.

Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo (both 0.66) and Paul Pogba (0.62) are the other United players to rank higher than Rashford, with Edinson Cavani (0.48) marginally behind.

The 24-year-old's 145 minutes per goal involvement in the league this term is way down on his average of 111 in 2019-20 – his best season in terms of goals and assists.

Cristiano Ronaldo is available for Saturday's Premier League meeting with Tottenham, but Ralf Rangnick is unsure if the forward is happy at Manchester United.

The Portugal international was left out of United's squad for last weekend's 4-1 defeat to rivals Manchester City after sustaining a hip injury in training.

However, United great Roy Keane questioned if that was really the reason why Ronaldo was absent at the Etihad Stadium amid reports he had been dropped by Ralf Rangnick.

Ronaldo flew to Portugal to work on his fitness and Rangnick confirmed on Friday that the 37-year-old is now back in training and is expected to play a part against Spurs.

"He resumed for training yesterday," Rangnick said at his pre-match news conference. "He trained the whole training session and I expect him to train today as well. 

"He trained well, like the rest of the group. I would've thought he was available tomorrow.

Ronaldo's Manchester derby absence came on the back of a run of one goal and zero assists in 10 games for United in all competitions this calendar year.

That compares to 12 goals and three assists in his opening 19 games upon returning to United from Juventus at the end of August.

Asked about reports that Ronaldo travelled to Portugal without informing the club, having grown frustrated at Old Trafford, Rangnick attempted to draw a line under the matter.

"It doesn't make sense to look back on what happened the last six or seven days," Rangnick said. "For me what is important is what happens today and tomorrow. 

"I haven't asked him if he's happy at Manchester or at this club. For me it's important he's fit again.

"He resumed training yesterday and we shall see which formation and which will line-up we will play with tomorrow."

Ronaldo has been involved in seven goals in his last five league games against Tottenham, both scoring and assisting against them in three different matches in this run.

As well as having the five-time Ballon d'Or available, Rangnick confirmed Edinson Cavani is back from injury and Raphael Varane has recovered from coronavirus.

However, full-back Luke Shaw will miss out after again testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, while central midfielder Scott McTominay is doubtful due to a calf injury.

United have won just two of their last six league games, seeing them drop out of the top four at the expense of Arsenal, who are one point better off with three games in hand.

They will be aiming to get back on track as they seek a third straight league win against Spurs for the first time since a run of four between April 2009 and October 2010.

"We are fully aware about the importance of tomorrow's game and the game on Tuesday against Atletico Madrid," Rangnick said. 

"The most important game is the game tomorrow against Tottenham – we have to win that game. 

"We've had a good week of training and the players are fully aware about the importance of the game. The focus has been there, as well as the togetherness in training."

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