Ralf Rangnick has warned Manchester United defender Eric Bailly that the kind of message he posted on social media “should not happen in a football club”.
Bailly, has made just four Premier League appearances all season and just two since Rangnick was placed in interim charge at the start of December. The 28-year-old has also seen his stock dramatically fall since signing a new contract at the end of last season.
His current standing in the United pecking order was made clear in midweek, with the Ivorian left out of the side, despite Rangnick lining up with three central defenders. Along with first-choice pairing Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire; Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones have both moved above him when it comes to featuring during the Premier League run-in.
And ahead of the Arsenal clash on Saturday, the central defender has incurred the wrath of Rangnick after appearing to voice his displeasure regarding his current situation. The message came after United’s official account posted several training ground pictures ahead of the game in north London.
One fan then responded to the training ground pictures with the comment “start bailly x Varane”. Bailly was delighted to see that support and replied by writing “please!” along with the laughing emoji and a pair of praying hands.
Asked about the post in his pre-match press conference, Rangnick made clear he wasn’t on the social media site, but said the message was an unacceptable one.
“I’m not on Instagram,” Rangnick explained. “Listen, I’m not talking about my players in the press conference not knowing what has happened, it doesn’t make sense. I can only tell you, never in my life will I be part of Instagram. If it’s true what you told me that should not happen in a football club no matter in which league.”
It’s not the first time Bailly has gone public with his disillusionment either, warning he would look for a “different solution” just weeks after signing an extended deal. Last year he told The Times : “Competition is always good to improve. I just say that I want to stay in case I get the chance to play. I don’t want to be a starter one game and a substitute for another five.
“If that happens I will have to look for another solution. The new contract is fine but if I don’t play I will be open to listen to other proposals.”
Incoming United manager Erik ten Hag looks set to conduct an ambitious overhaul at Old Trafford and reports suggest that Bailly could be one of the players moved on. Signed for £30m by Jose Mourinho in 2016, he has failed to live up to expectations and made just 116 appearances in six years, with injuries derailing his hopes of ever becoming a regular.