Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ronaldo impact sees fourth Man Utd attacker test water over shock exit, as top suitors wait

Jonny Whitfield
Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Fred January 2021

Marcus Rashford has had initial thoughts about leaving Manchester United following a struggle for minutes since Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival, according to a report.

The 24-year-old Manchester-born star has cemented his place in the club’s folklore following his impressive rise. Indeed, after making an instant impact on debut in 2016, he has not looked back – both on and off the pitch.

While he has racked up 283 appearances for United, he has hit a bump in the road this season.

Rashford decided to have surgery in the summer on a long-term shoulder injury. That coincided with Cristiano Ronaldo’s shock return to Old Trafford.

While the two events did not cross paths due to Rashford’s absence, friction has reportedly occurred now that he is back in contention.

Ronaldo is now the dominant figure up front for Ralf Rangnick’s team. In contrast, Rashford has only got through one 90-minute stint since his return.

According to Spanish news agency EFE (via Sport), the England international is aware of the change in game time.

As such, he has had initial thoughts about a move away. He has become the fourth United attacker to reportedly consider moves away this season, after Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani.

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As for who could sign him, the report claims Barcelona are his top suitors so far. Rashford had links with a move to the La Liga club in 2019, but he quashed those by signing a new contract.

Still, EFE reports that the situation has changed. Despite several conversations between him and United, there are no offers on the table over a new deal.

What’s more, Paris Saint-Germain have already reportedly contacted Rashford’s representatives and could join the race.

The forward’s current deal runs out in 2023. United have the option to extend the agreement for an extra year.

Rashford not the only Barcelona target

Manchester United pair Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes 2021

Despite their interest, Barcelona would have to overcome their financial difficulties if they were to sign Rashford.

The striker will have a hefty price tag, given he is only 24 and a senior England international with a wealth of Premier League experience.

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The fact he has one year left on his deal next summer could also affect his value, though.

Nevertheless, according to another report from Sport, Manchester City’s Ferran Torres is Barca head coach Xavi’s prime January target.