Manchester United duo Ralf Rangnick and Jesse Lingard must ‘get their heads together’ and have private clear-the-air discussions following their public back and forth over Lingard’s future, former striker Ally McCoist believes.
The Red Devils midfielder took to social media to insist his interim head coach was wrong to tell the media that he had requested days off following a disappointing transfer deadline day.
Lingard, 29, tried to depart Old Trafford in January and had interest from the likes of Newcastle and West Ham.
A move failed to materialise despite the England star being out of contract in June. United are now set to lose the academy graduate for free in the summer.
Rangnick then claimed Lingard had asked for a few days off, telling journalists before the club’s FA Cup defeat by Middlesbrough: “He asked me and the club if we could give him a couple of days off just to clear up his mind and he will be back in the group next Monday, back for training and then be a regular part of the whole squad again.”
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But the situation was muddied later that day when Lingard denied that he had asked for time off.
He tweeted: “The club advised me to have time off due to personal reasons! But my headspace is clear and I’ll always be professional when called upon and give 100 per cent.”
The situation is evidence of a potentially fractured relationship between Rangnick and a group of his players.
It is the second time a player has denied a claim made by Rangnick in the press. In January, Anthony Martial, who has since joined Sevilla, insisted he had not refused to be part of the United squad for their 2-2 draw with Aston Villa.
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“I don’t like players answering back to the manager on social media. However, if Jesse Lingard feels he’s been wrongly done, I think he’s well within his rights to answer publicly.
“But I’m an even bigger fan of the two people getting their heads together and having a chat.
“That is what would have happened back in the day. Communicating face-to-face is always the best answer.
“If Ralf Rangnick, or any manager, gives false information to the press, I think they do leave themselves open to being answered publicly.”
Lingard could feature in United’s Premier League clash with Burnley on Tuesday evening.