Anthony Martial has lashed out at Ralf Rangnick’s suggestion that he refused to be part of Manchester United’s squad for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Aston Villa.
Interim Red Devils boss Rangnick only named only eight substitutes for the match at Villa Park. And after the game, which ended in a 2-2 draw, the German claimed that Martial’s absence from the party was completely the player’s choice.
“He [Martial] didn’t want to be in the squad,” Rangnick said. “He would have been in the squad normally. But he didn’t want to be and that’s the reason why he wasn’t with us.”
With Martial missing, Rangick instead opted to have two goalkeepers, Dean Henderson and Tom Heaton, on his bench.
But the France international was quick to respond to Rangnick’s claims via his Instagram account.
He said: “I will never refuse to play a match for Man United. I’ve been here for seven years and I never disrespected, and will never disrespect, the club and the fans.”
Martial is known to be currently looking for an Old Trafford exit after struggling for game time.
Indeed, his agent Philippe Lamboley said in December that he wanted out: “Anthony wishes to leave the club in January. He just needs to play. He doesn’t want to stay in January and I will speak to the club soon.”
Sevilla don’t want Martial as Manchester United price too expensive
Sevilla have dropped all interest in Martial as Manchester United price is too high for them
The 26-year-old, whose current contract runs out in 2024, has not started a game for the club since a Champions League win over Villarreal in November.
His hopes of an exit are fairly high, however, with Rangnick previously suggesting he would consider allowing unsettled players to leave on loan in January – although he did not name Martial specifically.
Pogba tempted by return home
Meanwhile, Manchester United star Paul Pogba is ‘very tempted’ by a transfer away from Old Trafford, according to reports.
Pogba featured regularly in the Premier League and Champions League before a two-match suspension in late October, followed by a groin injury while on international duty. The World Cup winner began his rehabilitation in Dubai but is now back at the club’s Carrington training ground.
Manager Ralf Rangnick gave an update on Pogba last week. “As far as I know, I was told a week ago, it would be a minimum of at least another four or five weeks before he is fit for training again,” the German said (via MEN).
“I saw him this morning before the training session, he was in the locker room, and I hope he will be back as soon as possible.”
The central midfielder’s contract expires in the summer and rumours continue to swirl over his possible next destination. Real Madrid and Juventus are potential suitors, although Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG seem to be leading the race.
Sport Witness, citing French outlet Le Parisien, claim Pogba is ‘very tempted’ by the prospect of joining PSG. It would allow him to return to where he was born.
Pogba keen on new adventure
The star is also yet to appear in Ligue 1, having left France for United as a teenager. PSG reportedly have a ‘head start’ on their European rivals thanks to these factors.
One other factor that must be mentioned is United’s intent to keep Pogba. According to the report, they have put huge wages on the table as part of a contract extension. However, a conclusion is yet to be reached as Pogba and his agent Mino Raiola weigh up the options.
The £89m man has made 219 appearances over two spells with the Red Devils, scoring 38 goals. With his help United have won two EFL Cups and the 2016-17 Europa League.