Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick insists the club are no nearer to knowing where their four out-of-contract stars will be playing their football next season.
The Red Devils are facing a huge summer. With Erik ten Hag set to be confirmed as manager this week, United are preparing for wholesale changes. And it seems a brutal decision on Harry Maguire will be one of the first decisions made.
Elsewhere, the incoming new boss has a number of decisions to make about his squad. To that end, a report recently claimed there will be up to 11 players departing Old Trafford this summer.
The first of those, Nemanja Matic, has already confirmed this season will be his last at United. Signed for £40m in July 2017, the Serbian has played an increasingly dwindling role for the Red Devils.
Once one of the world’s elite defensive midfielders, Matic only has 18 Premier League appearances to his name this season.
Just who follows him out the exit door remains up for debate.
However, United do have a quartet of out of contract stars who appear certain to depart. To that end, plenty has been written about what the future holds for Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and, less so, Lee Grant.
The fate of Pogba is perhaps the most interesting. Having shown his brilliant best in frustrating patches, he remains a major enigma. Still, losing their club-record £89.3m signing for free (for a second time) does not sit well with United’s money men. To that, they have reportedly offered Pogba a record deal to stay.
Lingard, meanwhile, looks to choose between West Ham – where he excelled on loan last season – or make a move to Newcastle. You can imagine him making a success of either move.
Mata, for his part, appears destined to move back to Spain. To that end, a number of LaLiga clubs are looking at the veteran playmaker.
Nothing decided on Pogba, Lingard and Mata
However, United interim boss Rangnick insists nothing has been communicated to him about where all four will end up next.
Furthermore, Rangnick has also insisted that Matic has done nothing wrong in announcing his departure when he did.
“No, the only one who told me and with whom I have spoken about this recently was Nema,” Rangnick clarified. “We also spoke on Friday evening at the hotel before the game.
Out of contract Man United stars not talking to Rangnick
Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Edison Cavani and other out of contract players are not talking to Ralf Rangnick and Manchester United bosses about futures
“He didn’t do anything wrong. For the next year, there was an option in the contract both for the club and the player to decide if he wants to stay here. He decided to go elsewhere.”
Offering the 33-year-old Serbian further redemption, Rangnick insisted he will still give his all until the end.
“Knowing Nema, he will be a player ’til the very last day he is here. He will put all the effort into the best possible performance. In the last games whenever I let him play, he did well.”
United still have injury issues
United travel to Anfield on Tuesday night for a match critical to both their and Liverpool’s seasons.
However, Rangnick will once again be unable to call upon Edinson Cavani, Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw, Scott McTominay and Fred.
Criticising their injury record this season, Rangnick believes persistent issues have made life difficult for Manchester United.
“We lost a few players that we should not have lost,” he said. “I spoke about that last week, bearing in mind what kind of offensive players we had available against West Ham (in January), which substitutions I could make in the last 15 minutes, three of them are no longer here (Martial, Cavani and Mason Greenwood) or injured or continuously injured.
“We lost a few other players. Right now we have a few injury problems with important players who should normally be in the starting XI. It is no excuse or alibi, things that happen.
“This is also an issue that worries me a bit – the number of injuries that we currently have. I compare that with Liverpool, although they are still competing in four competitions, they have no injury problems at all.”
Speaking ahead of the game, Rangnick has been outlining exactly how his side can go to Liverpool and cause an upset.