Mason Greenwood’s arrest and suspension by Manchester United was a factor in the decision to keep Jesse Lingard at Old Trafford, according to interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

Greenwood was detained on Sunday after a lady was allegedly raped and assaulted.

The 20-year-old was arrested again on Tuesday, while still in detention, on charges of sexual assault and making threats to kill.

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Rangnick began his pre-game press conference by stating that he would not accept any questions about Greenwood, who was released on bail on Wednesday pending the outcome of a police probe.

Despite the Greenwood distractions, Rangnick said United enjoyed a “normal” week of training before of Friday’s FA Cup fourth round encounter against Middlesbrough.

“Obviously, I suppose, it was a topic within the team but they’re all human beings and Mason was part of the group until before we had our break,” Rangnick said.

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“But, as I said, it was a good week of training. We could train under normal circumstances and we are looking forward to the game tomorrow.”

Rangnick said Greenwood’s unavailability influenced the decision to keep Lingard, who had been linked with a loan move to Newcastle before the transfer window closed on Monday.

“It was two things,” he said. “One thing was obviously that we had a problem with Mason Greenwood and being without a player for the time being that has played regularly in the last couple of weeks.

“And on the other hand, the club couldn’t find an agreement with any other club.”

Lingard, who has battled for game time this season, was given the weekend off by Rangnick to clear his brain after failing to find a new club.

“He asked me and the club if we could give him a couple of days off just to clear up his mind and 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,” Rangnick said.

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However, France midfielder Paul Pogba, 28, is expected to be included in the team for the Old Trafford match against Middlesbrough.

Pogba, who is out of contract at the end of the season, has not played for United since incurring a thigh injury while on international duty with France on November 2 in a Champions League tie against Atalanta.

“Paul will be part of the group,” Rangnick said. “He might even be in the starting XI. There are still a couple of players missing out.”


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