Ralf Rangnick has defended his decision to deny Jesse Lingard an Old Trafford send-off ahead of his expected departure in the summer.
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Lingard is set to leave the club on a free transfer in the summer but Rangnick said he does not regret his decision to overlook the 29-year-old in favour of other substitutes including Edinson Cavani, another player who is set to leave at the end of the season.
“To start with, in the last couple of weeks under my tenure he has played far more games than he used to,” Rangnick told a news conference on Friday.
“Number two, on game day against Chelsea he asked me to release him from the game and training the following day for personal family reasons.
“And this was the reason with only three substitutes I had to take a decision between Edinson Cavani and Jesse Lingard, or the young Alejandro Garnacho, who I would have loved to have brought on and given a chance to play. I took the decision to bring on Edinson.”
Lingard and Cavani are among a number of players set to move on free transfers this summer.
“In regard to next season, there will be some changes with quite a few players’ contracts expiring,” Rangnick added.
“New players who join us here and players with long-term contracts, it’s something that needs to be discussed with the board. Erik needs to say which players he wants to work with. I’m positive with the players who are here and new players the pathway could be a positive one and that is what we are trying to achieve.
“Both Erik and myself want to have our full focus on the outstanding games. He has three to play and will do everything to win the title in the Netherlands. We have agreed we will have a chat and speak about everything at the end of the season.”