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Greenwood a factor in Lingard staying at Man Utd, says Rangnick

Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood’s recent arrest was a factor in the club’s decision not to let Jesse Lingard leave in January, coach Ralf Rangnick said on Thursday.

Greenwood has been released on bail pending further investigations, police said on Wednesday, after the 20-year-old player was arrested on suspicion of rape and assault of a woman.

The United forward was on Tuesday further arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and making threats to kill.

United have banned Greenwood from training or playing games until further notice, and with one less forward in the squad, Lingard, who was heavily linked with a move to Newcastle United in January, is needed by his current club.

“In a way, yes,” Rangnick told a news conference when asked whether Greenwood’s arrest affected the club’s thinking on Lingard.

“With the window closing Monday evening the board informed me they would rather he stay, so I could understand and accept.

“We had a problem with Mason Greenwood and being without a player for the time being, and the club not finding an agreement with another club.”

Sportswear giant Nike said on Monday it had suspended its relationship with Greenwood, while United released a statement on Tuesday reiterating their “strong condemnation of violence of any kind”.

Greenwood has not made any public statement following his arrest and has not responded to Reuters’ attempts to contact him on social media.

Speaking ahead of United’s FA Cup fourth round game against Middlesbrough on Friday, Rangnick played down the impact of Greenwood’s arrest on the rest of the squad.

“In fact we had a good normal week of training with five training sessions including today,” he added.

“Obviously it was a topic within the team but they’re human beings and Mason was part of the group before we had our break.”

Lingard can leave for free in the close season when his contract ends.

“Three weeks ago, Jesse didn’t want to leave, then he changed his mind,” Rangnick added. “I had a chat with him 10 days ago and I could fully understand why he wanted to leave to get game time for his future and the World Cup.

“I told him if he finds a club and we find a solution with our club I would allow him to leave. In the last couple of days things changed a little bit.”

Rangnick also said Lingard will not feature against Middlesbrough so he can “clear his mind”, with France midfielder Paul Pogba in contention to make his first appearance since November after a long injury layoff.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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