Five players absent for Man Utd for FA Cup clash, but Rangnick excited by Paul Pogba update

Edinson Cavani will be among five absentees for Manchester United’s FA Cup draw with Middlesbrough, but Paul Pogba will be back.

United return from their winter break with the fourth-round clash at Old Trafford on Friday. The Red Devils succeeded after beating Aston Villa, which did not rank as one of their greatest performances.

Indeed, Man Utd have faced criticism for their displays since Rangnick took over. Nevertheless, results have improved since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s departure and they are still fighting on three fronts.

While most members of the United squad have enjoyed a break of late, their African and South American stars were on international duty.

Uruguayan and Brazilian stars Cavani and Alex Telles, respectively, will therefore not feature. Meanwhile, defender Eric Bailly has an ankle problem after playing 120 minutes in Ivory Coast’s Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final loss to Egypt.

However, Frenchman Paul Pogba spent the break working on his fitness. He recently returned from a lengthy injury spell and will return against Boro, as will Luke Shaw after his own absence.

“Paul will be part of the group. He might even be in the starting XI,’ Man Utd caretaker manager Ralf Rannick said at a press conference. “A few players are still missing, Edi Cavani will only return at the weekend.

“He asked me two more days at home. I knew he couldn’t be in the starting XI anyway with the jet lag and wouldn’t be back until today or last night.

“Victor Lindelof has been sick all week and hasn’t trained so he will miss tomorrow’s game.

“It’s the same for Jesse Lingard, he asked me if we could give him a few days off just to clear his mind. He’ll be back in the squad next Monday and will once again be an integral part of any the team.

“Eric Bailly came back yesterday, he has a swollen ankle swollen ankle. All other players will be available.

Lingard will be absent following a dramatic end to the January transfer window which saw him fail to walk away from Old Trafford.

On the other hand, Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Amad Diallo have all been granted loan exits.

Rangnick grateful for Man Utd loans

Martial joined Sevilla and Amad went to Rangers. Van de Beek, meanwhile, was granted a deadline day transfer to Everton.

“I thought until now that the group was too big. We had too many players who didn’t see the chance to get regular playing time,” Rangnick said.

“Players like Donny, Anthony and Amad deserve regular playing time and I wish them all the best.

Cup tied for FA Cup: Everton one of biggest losers after January transfer window

“I was in contact with the three players. Amad has already played and scored in his first game and I’m pretty sure Anthony and Donny will do pretty well at Everton and Sevilla.

“Hopefully they can get back into shape.”

After facing Boro in the FA Cup, Man Utd face Burnley in the Premier League on Tuesday.