Every word from Rangnick's press conference
Ralf Rangnick met with the media ahead of Manchester United’s Premier League match against Wolves at Old Trafford.
Monday’s 17:30 GMT kick-off will be our first outing of the new year, with the Reds looking to build on the win over Burnley last time out.
After that victory over the Clarets, our interim boss spoke to the media in his press conference, with the second part of that call being embargoed until 13:30 GMT today (Sunday).
In the section, which you can watch and read every word of below, Ralf answers questions on Edinson Cavani, Donny van de Beek, Cristiano Ronaldo and Anthony Martial, ahead of the fixture versus Bruno Lage's side…
I just wanted to ask about Edinson Cavani again, there’s been lots of speculation about his future for the rest of the season. I just wanted to know if you’ve had any conversations with him about that, and whether you expect him to be a Manchester United player for the rest of the season?
“We have had quite a few conversations over the last couple of weeks, probably the player with whom I have spoken the most. I told him from the very first day he is a highly important player, he is probably the only one who can play as a striker back to goal and face to goal. And as I said, his professionalism and his work ethic is just amazing. I told him that I desperately want him to stay and stay until the end of the season, and he knows that. He knows how highly I rate him and how highly I respect him. That was also the reason why I played him today from the beginning, together with Cristiano [Ronaldo].”
“It depends. I think you will understand that I don’t want to talk about individual players in public. I know from some players that they would want to leave. We spoke about Edi, and he knows that I will definitely not let him go. For me, he is a highly important player for the rest of the season, [we’re] still playing in three competitions so we will definitely need Edi. I would rather have another Edi on top of that but for me it is clear Edi has to stay. With regards to the other players, yes, our squad is maybe a little bit too big with regards to numbers, but we still have COVID [to be wary of]. We have three competitions, and we could do with a bigger squad maybe than in times without COVID.”
Just on a similar note there, Ralf, Donny van de Beek has only started twice in the Premier League in 2021. He’s very popular with the supporters, what does he have to do to get a chance in your new formation?
“Just work hard. So far, as I have got to know him, he has got a top mentality. He works hard in every training session. He is a team player through and through. There will be games where he will get his chance to play, I am sure. I also had a long conversation with him last week about that and again, of course it is difficult for him right now because he also wants to play for the Dutch national team, he wants to qualify for himself and play in the World Cup in Qatar and in order to do that he needs to get game time here. But I still believe we should keep him, and he should stay here, definitely until the end of this season and try to get as much game time as he possibly can.”
“Today I didn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t be able to play another game. Physically he seems to be fit. He is doing everything. He is a top professional, he looks after himself and after his body, he eats the right things. At the age of 36 I have never seen a player at this age, maybe [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic is a little bit older but is a different kind of player, but I don’t see why he shouldn’t able to play three games in eight days but if at one stage we need to rest him it is no problem, but then it's even more important to have Edinson in the squad."
“He made it very clear that he wants to leave and in a way, I can understand his wish to leave and try to play more regularly somewhere else. But again, here, it is not only about what he wants to do but also a question of which kind of clubs are interested in him and do they meet the demands of the club? We have to wait and see. He is not injured currently, so I decided to go with this group of players that we had in the squad today. It had nothing to do with injuries.”