Rangnick claims Martial REFUSED to join United’s squad for the Villa match.

Anthony Martial risks disciplinary punishment following Ralf Rangnick’s statement that the Frenchman did not wish to be included in Manchester United’s squad for their 2-2 draw against Aston Villa.

Martial wishes to leave United, and Sevilla are interested in signing him in the current transfer window. United started with just eight players on the bench, including two goalkeepers, after Rangnick revealed Martial’s refusal to go.

‘He was adamant about not being included in the team,’ Rangnick explained. ‘Normally, he would have been on the squad, but he refused. That is why he was not with us yesterday (Friday).’

United are demanding a loan fee for Martial and would like to be compensated in full for the forward’s salaries. Earlier this week, Cristiano Ronaldo urged Old Trafford to alter their mindset following another season in which they struggled to compete with the Premier League elite.

On Saturday night, the Red Devils were reduced to two goals as goals from Jacob Ramsay and Philippe Coutinho cancelled out Bruno Fernandes’ brace either side of half-time.

Rangnick told Sky Sports of the result: ‘It’s really tough to find positives after this; we’ve had times where I believed we played our best game since I’ve been here. We possessed total dominance.

‘We have made strides, but there are still several areas for improvement. The goal was to push them in the midfield for the opening 30 minutes, and it was one of the positives.

‘When you are 2-0, you must improve your defense. We continued to surrender an excessive number of goals; we were not as compact and then conceded both goals. We were not as bold, but the manner we prepared in terms of pushing from our goal was excellent.

‘With two more crucial games coming ahead, what we demonstrated tonight is a step forward; this draw does not seem like a point.’

With Martial refusing to participate, United’s forward line was reduced further by Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford injuries, with Edinson Cavani and youngster Anthony Elanga joining Fernandes and Mason Greenwood in attack.

Rangnick is hopeful that both Ronaldo and Rashford will be available for United’s upcoming game against Brentford on Wednesday night.

The Red Devils’ two missed points on Saturday night kept them in seventh position, five points behind fourth-placed West Ham with only one game remaining.

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