Double trouble for Harry Maguire! Under-fire Manchester United captain is at risk of missing the rest of the season due to his knee injury… and Ralf Rangnick even proposes putting up his leadership role for re-election
- Harry Maguire’s knee injury may see him miss United’s remaining four games
- Ralf Rangnick had initially insisted that the defender’s issue was only a ‘niggle’
- Meanwhile, the interim boss proposed putting the captaincy up for re-election
- United will be in a market for a centre back, casting doubts on Maguire’s future
Harry Maguire suffered a double blow as it emerged that his season may be over due to a knee injury and Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick proposed putting his captain up for re-election.
United’s growing injury list means that Rangnick only has 14 senior outfield players to choose from for Thursday’s clash with Chelsea at Old Trafford.
Rangnick said that Maguire’s knee problem is only ‘a niggle’, but Sportsmail understands it could keep him out of United’s remaining four fixtures.
Harry Maguire is at risk of missing the rest of the season for Manchester United due to injury
That would be a fitting end to a miserable season for the England defender who has faced criticism over his form and questions over his suitability to remain as United captain.
Rangnick fuelled that debate on Wednesday when asked if he would recommend Maguire as skipper to new manager Erik ten Hag.
‘I strongly believe the captain should be elected by the team,’ said Rangnick. ‘In Germany we always had a board of four or five players elected by the players.
Ralf Rangnick has even suggested putting the captaincy role up for re-election next season
‘That’s what I would do if I was still the manager next season, but I’m not. This is something that Erik will have to decide.’
United will be in the market for a centre back this summer, casting doubt over Maguire’s future at Old Trafford just three years after an £80million move from Leicester.
Rangnick put the 29-year-old on the bench at Arsenal on Saturday after a threat was made to bomb his family home if he did not leave United within 72 hours.
With Maguire joining Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Fred and Luke Shaw on the injury list, Rangnick admitted he may have to include some young players in the squad to face Chelsea.
Sportsmail understands Maguire’s knee injury may see him ruled out of the remaining fixtures
Jadon Sancho also has tonsillitis and Aaron Wan-Bissaka faces a late fitness test.
‘Right now we have 14 of our professional team available, and probably three or four young players will be part of the squad,’ said Rangnick.
Having written off United’s top-four hopes, he acknowledged that it might be ‘an advantage’ for Ten Hag not to be in the Europa League or Europa Conference League next season. However, Rangnick urged his players to be professional.
‘This is our job, that we try to get the best possible results and then see in which position we will finish,’ he said.
Maguire started on the bench at Arsenal after a threat was made to bomb his family home
Meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel believes Chelsea need only minor changes this summer, rather than the open-heart surgery Rangnick says Manchester United require.
Asked what treatment Chelsea need, Tuchel laughed: ‘Cosmetic surgery… as soon as we can act we will try to turn things round and make it from a disadvantage to an advantage.
‘It is not possible that a new owner comes in and says, “Go wild, here is £250million – go and spend it”.’