Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard has broken his silence after Ralf Rangnick claimed that the player had asked for time off to “clear up his mind”.
The Englishman is out of contract this summer and he was keen to leave Man Utd during the January transfer window.
Newcastle United plotted a move as they were interested in signing him on loan until the end of the season.
A move did not come to fruition on deadline day as Man Utd reportedly blocked him from departing.
United interim boss Ralf Rangnick spoke with the media on Thursday ahead of his side’s FA Cup fourth round tie against Middlesbrough.
The German suggested that Lingard had requested time off following his failed move to Newcastle:
“He asked me and the club if we could give him a couple of days off just to clear up his mind,” Rangnick said.
“He will be back in the group, I suppose, next Monday, back for training and then be a regular part of the whole squad again.
“Three weeks ago Jesse didn’t want to leave. Then he changed his mind.
“I had a chat with him some 10 days ago and I could fully understand why he wanted to leave to get game time for his future, also for the World Cup.
“I said to him at the time in case he finds a club where he would like to play for and also the club finds a solution with our club, I would let him go, I would allow him to leave.
“Obviously with all the developments we had in the last couple of days, things changed a little bit.
“On the other hand, we also had no agreement with any other club. So at one stage, we had to take a final decision together with the board. We decided to rather keep Jesse until the end of the season.”
Lingard took to Twitter on Thursday evening to tell his side of the story:
“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 percent.”