Ronaldo and Manchester United stars train amid reports of player unrest - in pictures

Manager Ralf Rangnick admits he can't keep all the players happy with such a big squad

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Ralf Rangnick admits he is dealing with some unhappy players at Manchester United as his side look to get back to winning ways in the FA Cup.

The interim manager lost his first match in charge on Monday when Wolves inflicted a 1-0 home defeat and the woeful performance was followed by reports about a poor atmosphere in the dressing room.

The players, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford, looked happy enough in training for Monday's FA Cup third round clash with Aston Villa and Rangnick said: "Well, I mean this is not only an issue with a club like Manchester United.

“When you have a big squad, in the last two games we had most players available.

“Yes, we had an issue with three centre-backs missing out against Wolves but – in general – we had most players available, apart from Paul Pogba.

“If you have that many players and 10 outfield players can play and three being substituted, then of course you have quite a number of players – in our case 12, 13, 14 players who don’t even play, or not even being in the squad.

“Then those players are not happy about that situation. It’s obvious, it’s clear.

“In total, we have a big squad. I tend to explain to players every two or three weeks why they are not playing but obviously I cannot do that every game and that is an issue in our team as well as in other clubs.”

Midfielder Fred took to social media to make clear he is not unhappy at Old Trafford and distance himself from “fake news”.

The Brazilian said on Twitter: “Over the past few days, I have read several fake news (stories) involving my name and other MUFC athletes. I’m not in the habit of answering controversial stuff publicly, but this time I will have to.

“I just want to say that I am very happy here and I have never expressed any dissatisfaction and the possibility of leaving the club. Don’t get misled by fake news. We will continue to work with great dedication to pursue our goals.”

Updated: January 08, 2022, 8:10 AM