Ralf Rangnick has denied paying for United’s team bus to drive from Alderley Edge to Stamford Bridge on Monday night after being accused of doing so in an attempt to unsettle José Mourinho’s side ahead of a 2-0 win.
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On Saturday morning, bookmakers suspended betting on United making such a move after the Saturday papers made no reference to a private vehicle.
The Bayern Munich chief executive, Rangnick, had been at pains to deny attempts to send the bus with a “known coach” around Stamford Bridge before United’s 3-1 win last Saturday. He also insisted that neither Rangnick nor his wife had any contact with the club or club officials ahead of the fixture, and described an indication that it had taken place as a “hoax”.
“I don’t care how much everyone tries to make me look like I did it – I wasn’t,” he told Sky Italia. “There’s no way I told the coaches to go around Stamford Bridge and travel directly to Stamford Bridge. I’m more than happy to tell you that I didn’t know about the whole idea of a private vehicle from Alderley Edge to Stamford Bridge, and I definitely didn’t pay anyone.
“I can also promise you we haven’t taken any coaches before United games. Quite the opposite. On the way out of Manchester, we met the United players at United’s training ground, then we moved on to another training ground.”
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He refused to elaborate on the story, adding: “I do not want to make this a soap opera but I think I have to tell you who does and who doesn’t know about my behaviour on Saturday.”
The officials had an appointment at Chelsea’s training ground that morning. On Friday morning, the FA confirmed they were examining video evidence from both meetings between United and Dortmund, and will investigate claims that one of the clubs had gained an unfair advantage through “bookmaker’s problems”.