Manchester United striker Jesse Lingard is ‘upset’ with caretaker manager Ralf Rangnick who was denied a farewell appearance at Old Trafford against Brentford.
Sources close to Lingard, who ran out of contract in June, said the 29-year-old was appalled by Rangnick’s decision to send Edinson Cavani past the academy graduate in the 3-0 win. Lingard’s last home game for United turned out to be the 3-2 win over Norwich on 16 April.
In an Instagram post on Monday night, Lingard’s brother Louie blasted United for their “classless” failure to let Lingard in, adding “no wonder it’s the Conference League next year”.
Lingard and Cavani are both out of contract on June 30 and certain to leave. Cavani has missed 29 of United’s 47 games this season and has been criticized for his tendency to declare himself unfit for games.
Rangnick’s decision to introduce Cavani rather than Lingard went awry in the Lingard camp. Lingard joined the United academy aged seven and was a member of United’s FA Youth Cup-winning squad in 2011. The England international struck in the winner of the 2016 FA Cup final, scored in the triumphant 2017 League Cup final and came on in the Europa League final three months later.
Lingard pulled out of the United squad for Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea due to family illness and he only completed a full training session on Sunday.
However, Cavani only returned to training on Friday, having not played since the Champions League loss to Atletico Madrid on March 15 due to a calf injury. Rangnick has been a staunch defender of the five-substitute rule, which is to be permanently reintroduced next season, and also blamed it on Lingard remaining on the bench.
“As you know, for personal family reasons, he hasn’t trained a lot,” Rangnick said. “Yesterday was the first training session. Again, after he asked me to give him some time at home.
“Tonight was one of those nights where I would have loved five substitutes for other players. Also, Alejandro Garnacho, I would have liked to take him to 3-0 and let him play for 15 minutes. But then I had to decide between replacing him and bringing in him or Edinson Cavani and that’s why I decided to play against Edinson.”
United’s remaining fixtures this season are at Brighton and Crystal Palace.