Barcelona are trying to pry Marcus Rashford away from Manchester United this summer according to the Daily Mirror.
The reports come amidst United’s worst form under Ole Gunnar Soljskaer and, more importantly, after Rashford’s contract renewal talks have slowed.
United have improved vastly under Solksjaer this season and so has Rashford’s goalscoring form. Since Solksjaer was appointed as caretaker manager (and eventually permanent manager) the 21-year-old has scored seven and assisted two in the league. This has been directly as a result of Rashford being played down the middle rather than having prolonged periods out wide under Mourinho. Interestingly, under Mourinho, he assisted five but scored only three and therefore you could argue his goal involvement form has hardly improved, contrary to popular belief.
There is no doubt, however, that Rashford has been prioritised under new management to the demise of Lukaku. Evidently, this has revolutionised and upgraded him to a goalscorer rather than an assister. This has vastly increased attention towards the United camp and with it has come great interest upon the young English striker.
Last week it had been widely suggested that the interest is greatest from the Nou Camp and Barcelona are reportedly willing to bid €100 million for him in the summer. Not only are Barcelona willing to bid this huge sum of money but out of favour Phillipe Coutinho could also be on offer as part of a swap deal.
Despite the widely reported and subsequently covered Rashford rumours, many believe Barcelona tactically entertained these rumours in the days leading up to their Champions League clash which they won 3-0. In hindsight, now that we all know Barcelona would knock out Manchester United, it seems very likely that Barcelona have used these transfer rumours shrewdly regardless of the level of truth behind them.
Worryingly for Manchester United, there is a strong chance they could miss out on Champions League football for next year. The race to guarantee a top-four finish is getting fierce and if they do miss out then it would not be a surprise to see their stars move for the chance to play in Europe’s biggest competition.
This partnered with the fact Rashford has not renewed his contract with United makes for troubling news for fans. His contract now has just under 12 months left and United will not risk him leaving on a free for a player with such talent. Until the transfer window opens, the race for a top-four finish will keep fans entertained.