Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick: Anthony Martial issue now ‘resolved’

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Ralf Rangnick considers the issue with Anthony Martial “resolved” following talks with a player he claimed refused to be involved in Manchester United’s trip to Aston Villa.

United had two goalkeepers among their eight substitutes – one short of the number allowed – for Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Villa Park, where the France international was conspicuous by his absence.

Martial has made no secret of his desire to leave United this month but Rangnick’s claim that the forward “didn’t want to be in the squad” in Birmingham still shocked onlookers.

The 26-year-old took to Instagram later that night to say he “will never refuse to play a match for Man United” and subsequently spoke with the interim manager about the situation.

“I mean, I’m here now for six weeks,” Rangnick said ahead of Wednesday’s rearranged Premier League match at Brentford. “All the things that needed to be said, I said after the press conference.

“I had a conversation with him on Sunday, a personal conversation with him about what happened and how I saw the whole situation. The matter is now resolved.

Anthony Martial last played for Manchester United on December 2
Anthony Martial last played for Manchester United on December 2 (Martin Rickett/PA)

“He didn’t train (on Monday) and (Sunday). He will probably train (on Tuesday) and after training I will then take the decision if he is nominated or not (for the squad). Let’s see what will happen there.”

Martial has been overlooked in previous matches due to his desire to leave Old Trafford, where compatriot Paul Pogba’s future also remains unclear.

United made the 28-year-old the most expensive player in history when bringing him back from Juventus in 2016, but he has been unsettled in recent years and will be a free agent in the summer.

Rangnick is unsure about the status of contract talks and was more interested in Pogba’s return to training, having not expected him to be back with the group following a thigh issue until the end of the month.

“Paul Pogba had his first day of training with the whole group (on Monday) and in the first training session he showed what kind of an extraordinary player he could be,” the German said.

“He will not be available for the two games this week but hopefully after the international break – when we have the cup game against Middlesbrough and the away game at Burnley – I think he could be an option.”

Asked for an update on contract negotiations with Pogba, who has reportedly received an offer from Paris St Germain, Rangnick said: “I don’t know.

“I cannot answer because it’s not me dealing with this. I’m not negotiating about future contracts with players.

“But what you could see from his very first day in training (on Monday) is that he’s present – he’s physically present, he’s mentally present.

Paul Pogba has not played since the Champions League trip to Atalanta on November 2
Paul Pogba has not played since the Champions League trip to Atalanta on November 2 (Francesco Scaccianoce/PA)

“What I saw in training (on Monday) was very promising for the future and I’m very much looking forward to having him available in two weeks’ time after the international break.

“I think he will be a serious candidate also for the first 11.”

While Pogba will be unavailable at Brentford, Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay return from suspension and Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford should also be available.

“Cristiano and Marcus were training (on Monday), so I suppose they will also be training (on Tuesday),” Rangnick said.

“But in the press conference before the Villa game I was also convinced that Cristiano would be available and in the end he wasn’t, the same with Marcus, so we have to wait.

“Right now I think they could both be available.”

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