RALF RANGNICK is not going to waste his time persuading players to stay at Manchester United.
Anthony Martial’s agent publicly declared yesterday that his player wants a move because he is not getting enough game time.
Rangnick has said he will not stand in their way if players want outCredit: PA
Jesse Lingard has his sights set on a permanent switch back to West Ham next month, having enjoyed a successful time there on loan last season.
Meanwhile Paul Pogba’s contract runs out in the summer and he and his agent previously made it clear that his future lies elsewhere.
In the past, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has always spoken confidently about talking players round, most notably £89million club-record signing Pogba.
“If a player does not want to play for a club like United, medium or longterm, I don’t think it makes sense to convince him to change his mind.
“This is such a massive club with such fantastic support from the supporters, I don’t think anyone in the club should try to convince a player to stay.”
Pogba, 28, is still a month away from being fit to play for United again.
By then he will be able to talk to clubs on the continent about a move away from Old Trafford on a free.
United are already resigned to the fact he will leave and there will be no further contract negotiations.
Rangnick now has to decide whether he will fit into his plans at all in the second half of this season.
He said: “Let’s have him come back, get fully fit, train with the team and then see where we stand, how the team has developed by then.
“He can be an important player but this is true for all the other players that we have and I’m not just the coach of Paul Pogba.
“I’m also the coach of all the other players and my ambition is to make them better, improve each individual player, and this is only possible by improving the performance of the whole team.”
Pogba has been out of action for the last month with a thigh injuryCredit: AFP
Both Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer failed to find the solution to Pogba’s form.
Why couldn’t he play for United like he does for France, and what is his best position?
It is not something Rangnick has an immediate answer to either.
He said: “To be honest, I can’t answer that question because I do not know what exactly he has been asked to play for the French national team.
“The only thing that is of interest to me, and to us, is how do we get him fully fit and if he is fully fit, what position does he play for us? Those are the only questions that are of interest to me and to us.
“From what I’ve seen from him so far, I rather see him as a midfielder and not so much as a striker or left winger.
“But again, if I get to know him once he’s fully fit, we will see which position will be the best for him.
“He is still injured. Once he’s back in training and fully fit for playing ? as he’s probably been out for two or three months ? nobody can expect for him, after one or two training weeks, to be fully fit for our style of football.”
That style is a high-energy, high-pressing game so nobody will be rushed back as Harry Maguire was earlier this season.
The club captain spent three weeks sidelined with a calf injury but played against Leicester after just one training session back.
United lost 4-2 and Maguire looked off the pace in heavy defeats to Liverpool, Manchester City and Watford too.
So Pogba will not be near the first team until he can prove he is fit enough to play Rangnick’s style.
Pogba is currently rehabilitating from injuryCredit: Instagram / @paulpogba
Rangnick, whose side visit Norwich today, said: “The way we played against Crystal Palace, which is the way we want to build on for the next couple of games, is high intensity. Obviously you need to be fully fit to play that game.”
As it stands Rangnick seems quite comfortable with the players he has fit and at his disposal following that confidence-boosting 1-0 win in his first Premier League game against Palace.
It was also a first clean sheet at Old Trafford since April, and he was particularly impressed with the first-half performance as the players immediately implemented his pressing style.
He said: “The basis of what we showed against Crystal Palace was good.
“Getting that clean sheet was crucial and hopefully we can get another one against Norwich.
“Now it’s about developing, learning by doing. Right now most of that has to happen on the pitch during games because there is not much training time in between.
“This is what we’ll try to do to develop the team from now on, get better with every game that we play, and produce as many clean sheets as we can.
“As I said earlier, with the players that we have they are always able to score goals. I’m not worried about that at all. It’s about making sure we get as many clean sheets as we can.”
Rangnick changed his whole squad for the 1-1 midweek Champions League draw against Young Boys with United already qualified for the next stage of the Champions League.
Now he is set to change it back again to the team that faced Palace.
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