Anthony Martial has emphatically denied Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick’s claim that he refused to be a part of the club’s travelling squad for the draw with Aston Villa on Saturday.
Striker Martial was not even among the substitutes as Rangnick’s side threw away a two-goal lead and were held by the Villans courtesy of a close-range finish from former Liverpool man Philippe Coutinho, who was making his debut having joined on loan from Barcelona.
The Brazilian’s 81st minute strike made it 2-2 after a Bruno Fernandes brace had given Man Utd the initiative and Jacob Ramsey had pulled one back for the hosts.
Speaking after the frustrating draw, Rangnick claimed the otherwise fit and available Martial had refused to be a part of his travelling party.
“He didn’t want to be in the squad,” the German said. “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.”
However, France international Martial has taken to social media to respond to his manager, denying that he had ‘refused to play’.
Writing on Instagram, the 26-year-old said: “I will never refuse to play a match for Man Utd.
“I’ve been here for seven years and I never disrespected and will never disrespect the club and the fans.”
Martial has previously made it clear to Man Utd that he wants to leave the club in the near future. The Frenchman had not started a game under the interim manager before picking up an injury that ruled him out for a month.
90min revealed last week that Juventus have held talks over taking the attacker on loan for the rest of the season following an ACL injury to Federico Chiesa.
This very public war of words will do nothing do dispel rumours of serious dressing room unrest at Old Trafford. Several players are said to be disillusioned with their lack of game time and are seeking an exit, while cliques have reportedly formed amid low morale and some members of the squad are allegedly unimpressed with Rangnick and his methods.