Ralf Rangnick understands Dean Henderson and Donny Van De Beek’s frustration over a lack of playing time but wants the dissatisfied duo to remain with Manchester United for the rest of the season.
With the transfer window open and the Red Devils holding a bloated, unbalanced squad, speculation is rife over potential incomings and outgoings.
January arrivals currently look unlikely but some United players have been speaking to the club about potential temporary exits.
Henderson is among those seeking a loan, having ended last term as first-choice goalkeeper only for a coronavirus-impacted pre-season to see David De Gea step up and prove his quality.
“Well, I told him that I would like him to stay because he is a fantastic goalkeeper,” interim boss Rangnick said of the England international, who missed Monday’s FA Cup win against Aston Villa through illness.
“In training yesterday he had a couple of fantastic saves. I really like to have him on board as one of three top goalkeepers that we have.
“I can fully understand that he wants to play because he’s in an age where as a goalkeeper you should regularly play.
“But on the other hand we’re still in three competitions and therefore we need the two and three goalkeepers we have right now.
“I’ve told him that but, as I said, I can also on the other hand understand his desire to get regular game-time as a number one elsewhere in the Premier League.”
Henderson has only made two appearances this season and may feel his World Cup dreams are slipping away, having been forced to withdraw from the Euro 2020 squad through injury.
Van De Beek’s hopes of making Holland’s squad for Qatar are also waning having struggled for games since his highly-anticipated switch from Ajax.
The 24-year-old has only made four Premier League starts since joining for an initial 39 million euros (£34.1million) in 2020 and wants to get minutes under his belt.
“It’s the same situation as it is with Dean,” Rangnick said. “I’m glad to have him in the squad.
“He came on in the last 15, 20 minutes against Villa in the cup game and he did well.
“He’s always performing on a high level in training. I had a conversation with him two weeks ago after training exactly about that and I told him that I would advise him to stay until the end of the season.
“Then of course with the World Cup coming up in the winter, he wants to play for his country.
“(Holland manager) Louis Van Gaal obviously told him that in order to be a regular starter in the World Cup he needs to regularly play for his team.
“Again, I can understand his wish and desire to play. On the other hand, we have a lot of competition in our squad exactly in those positions.”
Van De Beek came off the bench in Monday’s fortuitous 1-0 cup win against Villa and may well find himself among the substitutes when the sides face each other in the Premier League on Saturday evening.
United were without Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Maguire, Jadon Sancho and Phil Jones for the third-round tie but Rangnick expects the quartet to be available for the trip to Villa Park.
“I think they will be available,” said the German, who will be without suspended Luke Shaw and Scot McTominay.
“They only trained yesterday for the first time – Cristiano yesterday, Harry I think the day before yesterday.
“We have to wait for the final training session this afternoon but as it seems right now they should be available.”