Rangnick's update as Ronaldo misses Villa tie

Monday 10 January 2022 19:23

Manchester United interim coach Ralf Rangnick has explained why Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, Harry Maguire and Phil Jones are all absent from his squad for tonight's Emirates FA Cup tie against Aston Villa.

The German told MUTV's Stewart Gardner: "They are having problems. I wouldn’t say that they are injured, but they have muscular problems.

"I spoke with Cristiano yesterday before training, he told me that he’s had some problems for the last couple of days. Minor problems, but in the end, we decided that it made more sense to not take any risks in a game that could easily last 120 minutes, so we just decided to rest him, not play him at all."

Rangnick expanded further on Ronaldo when asked by BBC Sport where the Portuguese star is this evening.

“I suppose he will be in the stadium but he had some problems with his hip, with his hip muscle, and we just decided that it would be better for him not to play this game,” said the interim manager.

“I don't think it's anything serious. He's told me that he's had that problem for the last couple of days. Again, in a cup game when you can play 120 minutes, I thought it would be better to not take any risks.”



Explaining why club captain Harry Maguire is missing another match, Rangnick said: “He’s still suffering a little bit from his rib contusion and again I hope to have him back for the Villa [Premier League] game on Saturday, but for tonight he was not available.”

On the situation with Jones, who made his long awaited comeback against Wolves, the United boss added: “With Phil Jones, he’s having some minor problems on the calf. Again in a cup game like the one tonight it doesn’t make any sense [to risk him] – even more so if it’s the calf muscle.”

Meanwhile, Rangnick admitted that Jadon “was supposed to be in the squad” but missed out because “he had some issues with hamstrings on both sides so again it doesn’t make sense to take any risks.”