(Reuters) – Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick said on Monday that he shares a good relationship with Jesse Lingard after the wantaway midfielder was not allowed to leave the club in the January transfer window.
The United board reportedly blocked a deadline-day move to Newcastle United for the 29-year-old, who did not feature in the FA Cup fourth-round defeat by Middlesbrough last week after being given time off by the club.
Speaking ahead of the Premier League game against Burnley on Tuesday, Rangnick told reporters that Lingard and striker Edinson Cavani were both available for the trip to Turf Moor.
“With regards to Jesse, I have a very good relationship with him, he knows I would have been willing to let him go at least until the issue with Mason (Greenwood) came up, he mentioned some personal issues,” said the German.
“We have to look forward now, there are no problems whatsoever between myself and Jesse and vice versa. I’m very happy to have him in the squad and he’ll be in the squad for tomorrow night’s game.”
United suspended Greenwood after the forward was arrested last week — and later released on bail — on suspicion of sexual assault and making threats to kill.
Despite bowing out on penalties to second-tier Middlesbrough in the FA Cup, Rangnick said that the team had improved in recent weeks and talk of an overhaul was exaggerated.
“Overall, the development of the team and performances over the last couple of weeks have improved,” he said.
“Apart from playing together as a team in defence and improving… we invested some time in our offensive principles and it showed in the game against West Ham (United) and Middlesbrough where we created numerous chances.”
United are fourth in the league standings with 38 points from 28 games, 25 ahead of bottom side Burnley who have three games in hand.
(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)