Anthony Martial refused to be in Manchester United squad: Ralf Rangnick

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Manchester United forward Anthony Martial refused to be included in the squad for Saturday’s 2-2 Premier League draw at Aston Villa, said interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

The 26-year-old has started only two league games this season and has not featured since a 3-2 win over Arsenal on December 2. The Frenchman’s representative said this month that Martial wanted to secure a move in January to get more game time.

But with United struggling for players with absences due to injuries, Covid-19 and the Africa Cup of Nations, Rangnick asked Martial if he wanted to be involved for the Villa game.

“He didn’t want to be in the squad,” the coach told a news conference. “He would have been in the squad normally, but he didn’t want to and that was the reason why he didn’t travel with us yesterday.”

Premier League clubs are allowed to select up to nine substitutes, but United only named eight at Villa Park – two of them goalkeepers in Dean Henderson and Tom Heaton.

Martial signed a new contract in January 2019 that expires in 2024. He has scored 79 goals in 268 games for United.

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