Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has denied rumors that Cristiano Ronaldo could replace Harry Maguire as captain, calling the reports “absolutely absurd”.
United have been besieged by locker room leaks in recent days, with club stalwart Gary Neville claiming he knew who was at fault and calling the issue “disgusting”.
A story first surfaced claiming United players referred to Ralf Rangnick’s US assistant Chris Armas as Ted Lasso in reference to the comedic football manager.
Other stories then claimed a rift between summer signing Cristiano Ronaldo and star striker Marcus Rashford, with the latter taking to Twitter to dismiss the allegations.
Another report has since emerged suggesting club captain Maguire could lose the armband, a story initially pushed back by the defender, and now his manager.
Rangnick began his press conference by saying, “Well, for starters, I have to say, this is absolutely nonsense.
“I’ve never spoken to any player about a chance to become captain, Harry is aware of that and Cristiano.
“I decide who is captain and I don’t have to tell anyone else. Harry is our captain and he will remain our captain.
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“I’m not frustrated because it’s not the truth,” he continued. “Harry is the captain, that’s no problem and hasn’t been a problem.
“I am fully focused on preparing the team in training for the next game. I heard what is written, I can only tell you from personal experience.
“There were unhappy players until the window closed because the squad was too big and the players weren’t getting playing time.
“The atmosphere in the dressing room is better than a few weeks ago for that reason. It’s about performing well, being together on the pitch and winning games. Those are the things we can influence.
Rangnick’s next game is against rivals Leeds after a stress-relieving 2-0 win over Brighton.
Previously, the Red Devils surrendered a one-goal lead to draw against Burnley and Southampton in the Premier League.
Rangnick spoke about the rivalry and discussed what needs to change.
“Leeds are a team that play with the greatest speed, so it’s important for us not to allow them to play like that,” he explained.
“Every time they pass the ball they try to increase the pace of the game, another thing they are very man-oriented. They play with the highest speed, momentum and tempo, we have to stop them from doing that.Likewise, they concede a lot, only Norwich have conceded more.
“We are well prepared to play for 90 minutes and stick to the game plan.
“I didn’t know it until a week ago but most of my colleagues said it was probably one of the biggest rivalries in the Premier League and of course I had those local derbies in Germany, Schalke against Borussia Dortmund for example.
“Our team have a lot of experience in that atmosphere and it can boost their performance. Last year in Leeds it was behind closed doors. Everyone would rather play in a sold-out stadium than in an empty stadium and I can not wait to be there.
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