Maguire knows how I feel about him, he’s my captain – RangnickRalf Rangnick is confident Manchester United’s fans will not turn on skipper Harry Maguire at Old Trafford when they entertain his former club Leicester.
Rangnick said he “didn’t understand” why England fans booed Maguire’s name when it was read out at Wembley before the friendly win over Ivory Coast.
Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane led the defence of Maguire after the game.
“He knows my position towards him,” said Rangnick. “He’s been a very valuable player for the team.”
United’s German interim manager, speaking before Saturday’s match (kick-off 17:30), added: “I didn’t understand what happened at Wembley but it won’t happen in our stadium with the Red Army.”
Fernandes signs new Man Utd dealMan Utd v Leicester team news and statsMaguire has been the subject of a barrage of social media criticism.
Brazilian midfielder Fred has received similar treatment over the past few months as United have struggled to match lofty pre-season expectations, while Rangnick said he has noted criticism for Scott McTominay as well.
“I don’t think this is a personal thing,” Rangnick said. “It isn’t anything to do with Harry himself because one or two other players have been criticised in the last few months.
“Fred is a very important player for this team, playing regularly for us and Brazil. I watched his game for them and he did well.
“Maybe it’s still got to do with the high expectations around this club and people tend to compare with former players and legends.”
Maguire, though, has already suffered the wrath of some fans at Old Trafford this season. He was subject to jeers when substituted late on as United were knocked out of the Champions League on 15 March at home to Atletico Madrid in the round of 16.
United will be missing veteran striker Edinson Cavani for the game after he suffered a calf injury during Uruguay’s World Cup win over Chile.
The 35-year-old has made just nine appearances – and started five games – since the beginning of November due to injury, scoring his only goal during that period against Newcastle on 27 December.
“Edinson is injured again and will be out for the next couple of weeks,” said Rangnick.
‘I don’t want to rule anything out’ – Ten HagUnited have spoken to Ajax manager Erik ten Hag about becoming the permanent successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjear.
The Dutchman, 52, told Sport 1 in Germany: “My focus is currently only on Ajax but in football you never know, I don’t want to rule anything out. I’m currently employed here at Ajax to perform.”
Ten Hag has won two Eredivisie titles since taking over at Ajax in 2017 and took them to a Champions League semi-final in 2019.
When asked about contact with United, he said: “Everyone knows each other in the industry. There are always talks with representatives from other clubs, that’s normal.
“Manchester United is a great club with great fans. But I can only repeat myself. My full focus is completely on Ajax. We are already planning for the new season.”
Rangnick’s contract as interim manager finishes at the end of the season, when he is expected to take up another role at the club.
‘Van Gaal could have known’ – RangnickFormer United boss Louis van Gaal this week suggested Ten Hag should rule out a move to the Red Devils because they are “a commercial club”.
He said his fellow Dutchman would be better advised to join a “football club not a commercial club” if he leaves Ajax.
But Rangnick responded on Friday: “The English Premier League, when any rich person or company can buy a club, is a commercialised business that’s for sure. I don’t see anything negative in that.
“Louis himself, as an experienced coach, signed a contract here some five or six years ago and he could have known that in advance if he had that opinion.
“It’s a great club and if it draws the right conclusions on what’s happened in the last couple of years, I still see a very bright future for it.”
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