Ralf Rangnick has hinted that Manchester United will not sign unjabbed players over fears they could miss games - and insisted that hesitant stars should consider the risk of long Covid.
Last week, the Premier League revealed that 16 per cent of players are yet to receive any form of vaccination against the virus, with Covid spreading in dressing rooms across the country.
The recent surge in cases has triggered debate as to whether clubs will sign unvaccinated stars, with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp revealing he would not recruit anyone who refuses to be jabbed.
United were recently hit by a Covid outbreak of their own, resulting in the postponements of their games against Brentford and Brighton, and interim boss Rangnick has shared Klopp's concerns ahead of the January transfer window, where he hopes to add players to his squad.
'Yes, I think it could be a consideration and I fully understand what Jurgen said but it also depends if you want to sign a player and risk him not being available,' he said via The Telegraph.
Ralf Rangnick has expressed reservations about signing unvaccinated players at Man United
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'This is an issue the clubs seriously have to think about. If you sign a player knowing from the very first day that he has not been vaccinated, you have to be aware that he might not be available - not only for 10 days, but this could happen regularly in Covid times.'
Rangnick presented Bayern Munich's Joshua Kimmich as an example of the effects of long Covid. The German midfielder has expressed regret at not taking the vaccine sooner after he was ruled out until January due to lingering effects of the illness.
Minor lung issues have meant that Kimmich has not played since early November and Rangnick said the episode provides all the more reason to convince players to get the jab.
A debate has ensued amid football's Covid crisis, with the Premier League last week revealing that 16 per cent of stars are yet to get jabbed
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said he would be reluctant to sign any unvaccinated players
'You had the example of Joshua Kimmich, who was extremely hesitant at the beginning and I think in the meantime he has realised it might be a good idea to get vaccinated,' Rangnick added.
'He caught Covid, he still has some problems with his lungs. Hopefully, he'll be back after Christmas, in the new year, at full strength and can play again for Bayern Munich.
'I think this is an issue where of course everybody can and should have his free will but I think in football, especially at this level we are playing at, we need to try to convince our players to get vaccinated.'
The German admitted, though, that he does not know the vaccination status of his squad, but insisted that United's vaccination rate is above the Premier League average.
Rangnick said hesitant stars should look at Bayern Munich's Joshua Kimmich as an example of the risks of long Covid after he was ruled out until January
United return to action tonight after missing two games due to a Covid outbreak at the club
'To be honest, I don't know which of our players have had two or three vaccinations. This is a question that only our medical department could answer but I know from our medical department that our ratio of vaccinated players is above the average of the Premier League.'
United returned to their Carrington training ground last Tuesday after the base was shut down in a bid to reduce transmission of the virus, and barring the injured Paul Pogba, Rangnick has a full squad to pick from for tonight's trip to Newcastle.
'Physically they look good, they had a very intense training session [on Wednesday],' he said.
'The energy level was high, all the players were fully engaged and everybody was on board. I'm not worried about physical state the team is in - they seem to be extremely fit.'
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-10347029/Man-United-Ralf-Rangnick-expresses-reservations-signing-unvaccinated-players.html2072