Ralf Rangnick sidestepped questions on the future of Cristiano Ronaldo, and has not asked the Portuguese superstar if he is happy at Manchester United.
There was controversy a week ago, as Ronaldo was absent for the 4-1 mauling at the hands of Manchester City – with Red Devils coach Rangnick saying the player had a hip injury.
Ronaldo’s sister raised eyebrows when liking a post which said her brother was not injured and had been left out for tactical reasons.
There was further controversy when Ronaldo took the decision to jet back to Portugal with his family at the weekend.
He has since returned to training and Rangnick says the player is fit and available for selection against Tottenham on Saturday.
“He resumed training yesterday,” Rangnick said of Ronaldo. “He trained for the whole session, and I expect him to be in training today as well. He trained well like the rest of the group so I would have thought that he’s available for tomorrow.”
Asked if there was any issues between the two, Rangnick responded: “I haven’t asked him if he’s happy at Manchester, at this club. For me it’s important that he’s fit again, and he resumed training yesterday. Then we will see with which formation and which line-up we are going to play tomorrow.”
Rangnick had words of encouragement for Marcus Rashford, who has been linked with a move away, as he urged the England man to produce on the pitch what he does in training.
“We spoke about that a week ago or two weeks ago in a press conference,” Rangnick said. “Marcus is training well, he’s got abundant talent, he’s got almost everything that you need as a modern striker. For him, it’s only about transforming the performance of the training sessions into the regular games.”
Rangnick gave his views on the situation at Chelsea in light of the UK government’s decision to sanction Blues owner Roman Abramovich – and said Thomas Tuchel should not be criticised for taking the job.
“Had anyone in this room or wherever… could anybody foresee what was happening there in the last three or four weeks?” Rangnick said. “Nobody would have expected that to happen. And, therefore, I think we should be very careful to blame somebody for doing this or that.
“This couldn’t have been foreseen and Roman Abramovich has been the owner. Not only at Chelsea but also at Arsenal and at Everton, there were some ownership shares by Russian oligarchs so this is not the only club.
“Of course, it affects everything. It affects football, it affects the way that gas and oil is being delivered to European countries. In the end, it affects everybody.
“Right now, here in England or in Germany or other European countries, although we are only two-and-a-half hours away from Ukraine, it doesn’t affect us, as yet, directly. But I would be surprised if, in the next couple of weeks and months, suppose the war goes on, it wouldn’t affect us all at one stage.”
Rangnick confirmed Luke Shaw would be absent for the Tottenham game as he continues to test positive for Covid-19, while Scott McTominay is doubtful.