An incredible report has claimed Manchester United are prepared to offload Marcus Rashford as early as January and initial contact over a blockbuster swap with Barcelona has been made.
Rashford, 26, enjoyed the best season of his career to date last term. The frontman notched a career-best 30 goals across all competitions and was near-unplayable after the World Cup break.
Rashford was rewarded with a new and improved contract on July 18, tying his future to Old Trafford until 2028.
However, the United man has experienced a dramatic loss of form this season and questions over his work ethic have been asked.
Sky Sports pundits Roy Keane and Jamie Carragher in particular have turned the spotlight on Rashford. However, manager Erik ten Hag has poured cold water on any claims Rashford or any of his teammates have downed tools.
Speaking in a press conference on Tuesday, Ten Hag said: “We are not robots, if you play three games in six days, tough games and by the end the fatigue can be an issue, never an excuse but it is there but against Galatasaray against Everton we played very good, against Newcastle we were not happy with our performance.
“We are the first to say, the players are the first, they are so self critical.”
However, according to a bombshell report from Spain, Man Utd have placed Rashford in the exit pile.
Man Utd to swap Rashford with Raphinha?
As cited by Caught Offside it’s remarkably claimed Rashford is ‘is in several pools to pack his bags.’ In other words, he’s among the many Man Utd stars the club are willing to let go next month.
Jadon Sancho and Donny van de Beek are both expected to make way in the January window. Raphael Varane and Casemiro could also be in line for premature exits if suitable bids are lodged.
The report then touts the idea of Rashford trading places with Raphinha at Barcelona. On that front, ‘one contact’ regarding what would unquestionably be a surprise swap has reportedly already been made.
Barcelona are claimed to be open to shifting Raphinha amid the emergence of youngster Lamine Yamal.
Ex-Leeds United winger Raphinha secured his dream move when joining Barca in 2022, though has been relegated to the role of a squad player this term.
His 14 appearances this season have amounted to just 584 minutes. Nonetheless, it’s reaffirmed in the piece that the 26-year-old remains highly regarded back in England for his magnificent stint with Leeds.
A Raphinha-Rashford swap could make sense on one level given United’s difficulty in fitting Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho into the same eleven.
Both players are right-footed and greatly prefer cutting in from the left flank. Swapping Rashford for Raphinha would give Erik ten Hag another left-footer to battle with Antony for the right side and pave the way for Garnacho to become the regular starter on the left.
Nonetheless, such a swap does seem extremely fanciful and it’s important to note the Spanish outlet in question aren’t known for being among the most reliable when it comes to transfer news.
There is no indication elsewhere in the media of Rashford wishing to leave his boyhood club or United wanting to sever ties.
Furthermore, Barcelona have well-documented financial difficulties and taking on Rashford’s colossal salary believed to be in excess of £300,000-a-week would be a challenge for the Catalonians.