Ralf Rangnick is willing to allow Manchester United’s unsettled players to leave the club and has discussed Paul Pogba’s motivation as the midfielder approaches the end of his contract.
United are believed to have several unhappy players seeking an exit during the current transfer window, with Anthony Martial not named in the squad for the weekend draw at Aston Villa as the forward agitates for a move away from the club.
Donny van de Beek, Jesse Lingard and Dean Henderson are also amongst the names who have expressed a desire to leave this month, having grown frustrated with a lack of opportunities at Old Trafford this season.
Speaking ahead of this evening’s clash with Brentford, Rangnick insists he understands the stance of his unsettled stars and will give his ‘blessing’ to players who want to leave – provided an agreement is reached that suits all parties.
“I have spoken to quite a few of those players who don’t get enough game time, and I can fully understand the players,” he told his pre-match press conference.
“If I was a player myself, or if I was the father or the agent of the player, I would also not be happy about not playing regularly, or not playing at all.
“But again, it takes two things: one is that the player wants to leave, and they also need clubs who can really offer them a contract and a better perspective to play. And then there also still needs to be an agreement between the two clubs.
“As I said, I can fully understand some of our players who would like to get more game time, and they are capable to get more game time at other clubs, and I wouldn’t interfere. They would have even my blessing if they would want to leave.
“But in the end, it’s the question of other issues that also need to be resolved.”
United’s options have been boosted this week by the return of Paul Pogba to first-team training, the midfielder having not featured since the Champions League draw with Atlanta in early November.
The France international’s future with the club remains uncertain after entering the final six months of his deal with the Red Devils, but Rangnick has refuted suggestions he should leave Pogba out given the 28-year-old appears to be heading for a summer exit.
Asked if there is much point playing a Pogba if he wants to leave, Rangnick said: “Yes, of course. I also played Nemanja Matic in the last games, and his contract is also expiring.
“By the way, my contract as the manager is also expiring in the summer, so for us we have the same goal. We have the same ambition to be as successful as we can possibly be in the next three or four months.
“For me, it’s not a question if a player has an expiring contract. The question is: how much does he still want to be part of this group? How much does he still feel emotionally and physically on board? As long as this is the case, why should Paul Pogba, now, after two and a half months of injury, being fully fit again [not play]?
🗣️ "For me, it's not a question if a player has an expiring contract. The question is how much does he still want to be a part of this group?"
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 19, 2022
“He wants to show the fans of Manchester United, the board, the whole world, what kind of player he can be. Even if it’s for only showing up for a new contract elsewhere, he will be highly motivated to do that, so why should I then not play him?
“But as I said, there is a difference of: how do players deal with their current situation? How do they handle that? If they handle that in a professional way, in an ambitious way, of course I can and will play players, although they have a contract expiring in the summer.”