Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is set to return from injury for Friday’s FA Cup fourth round game against Middlesbrough, while Jesse Lingard is unavailable after having time to “clear his mind”.
Pogba has not played for United since early November after suffering a hamstring injury on international duty with France and will make his first appearance under interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
“Yes, Paul will be part of the group,” said Rangnick. “He could even be part of the starting XI.”
However, United will be without Lingard against Championship club Middlesbrough as he takes some time after the board prevented him from leaving in January due to interest from Newcastle and West Ham.
“Jesse asked me and the club if he could have a few days off just to clear his mind,” Rangnick added. “He’ll probably be back in the group next Monday and be part of the squad again.”
When asked if Mason Greenwood’s arrest and suspension was the reason Lingard wasn’t allowed to go, Rangnick said, “In a way, yes. But in the end the board told me they couldn’t find an agreement with any of the clubs interested in him.
“As the window closed, the board told me that afternoon that they want him to stay and for me that was a decision I could fully understand and accept.”
The club advised me to take a break for personal reasons! But my headspace is clear and I will always be professional when it counts and give 100 percent
— Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) February 3, 2022
However, later on Thursday, Lingard took to Twitter to say United were proposing a short break. He said: “The club advised me to take time off for personal reasons!
“But my headroom is clear and I will always be professional when it counts and give 100 percent.”
Greenwood was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of rape and assault after a woman alleging incidents of violence posted pictures and videos on social media.
Police were given additional time on Monday to question the 20-year-old He was also arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and death threats.
He was released on bail pending further investigation.
United said Greenwood would not be coaching or playing for the club “until further notice”.
Rangnick in the dark on Man Utd future amid poch links
Ralf Rangnick says he has “no idea” if he will take over permanently at United next season as speculation mounts that Mauricio Pochettino will be the next manager at Old Trafford.
When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked, Rangnick signed a deal to temporarily manage the team until the end of the season, to remain in an advisory role for another two years.
United are looking for Solskjaer’s successor, with Paris Saint-Germain boss Pochettino and Ajax head coach Erik Ten Hag being the two leading candidates.
Talk of a possible move for Pochettino has intensified this week after reports that the former Tottenham boss is unhappy with the transfer deals in Paris after failing to sign Tanguy Ndombele.
Asked if he has spoken about what his position at United will be like after this season, Rangnick said: “I have no idea, my focus is totally on developing and training the group.
“We have important games ahead of us in three different competitions so I can’t answer that question properly. My focus is on the coming weeks and months and on being as successful as possible.”
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