Ralf Rangnick says Anthony Martial was absent at Aston Villa after telling the interim manager he did not want to be in the Manchester United squad.
Bruno Fernandes’ brace put the visitors on course for victory at Villa Park, only for Jacob Ramsey to pull one back and substitute Phillipe Coutinho to seal a 2-2 draw.
United had two goalkeepers among their eight substitutes – one short of the number allowed – and Rangnick said he wanted Martial to fill that spot.
But the German says the 26-year-old did not want to travel to Birmingham as he pushes for a January exit.
“Yes, he didn’t want to be in the squad,” Rangnick said.
“He would have been in the squad normally but he didn’t want to and that’s the reason why he was not travelling with us yesterday.”
Of the game, Rangnick admitted the draw felt like a defeat after United blew a two-goal lead.
The German said: “It’s very difficult to find some positives after these 90, 95 minutes.
“We had spells where I felt it was our best game since I came here. In the first 30 minutes we completely dominated the game, could have scored even two or three goals. We have seen we have taken some steps forward, but still quite a few things to improve and do better.
“You just have to take those three points back home and as of now, it feels like a defeat to be honest.”