Manchester United could face a battle to prevent Marcus Rashford from joining a European giant this summer, while a Sir Jim Ratcliffe decision has put the future of Bruno Fernandes under a cloud, according to reports.
Ratcliffe has purchased a 25 percent stake in Man Utd and final approval from the Premier League is expected to come later this month. The British billionaire will assume full control of sporting matters at Old Trafford and his presence has already been felt.
Former CEO, Richard Arnold, jumped before he was pushed. Elsewhere, INEOS chiefs Sir Dave Brailsford and Jean-Claude Blanc will become directors on the club’s football board.
Major change is also expected closer to the pitch, with Erik ten Hag’s position as manager likely hinging on how results fare between now and the end of the season.
Regarding the playing staff, the Evening Standard recently claimed a quartet signed for combined transfer fees of £270m can leave – if suitable bids are lodged, of course.
Rashford to replace Mbappe in Paris?
Firstly, Rashford is a long-time target of PSG who explored signing the 26-year-old in 2022.
PSG ultimately pulled the plug on landing the frontman after believing they were being used as leverage to help Rashford secure a more lucrative contract at Old Trafford. Rashford would go on to sign a new deal the following summer.
But when speaking to Caught Offside, reporter Ben Jacobs claimed Rashford to PSG cannot be ruled out at season’s end.
At that stage, PSG are likely to be hunting a replacement for Kylian Mbappe who looks on course to sign with Real Madrid as a free agent.
“Marcus Rashford is also a historical PSG target,” said Jacobs. “The club were keen prior to Rashford extending his stay at Old Trafford, but after taking meetings in Paris they felt they were being used as leverage.
“Rashford is still committed to Manchester United, but a summer swoop from PSG can’t be entirely ruled out.
“However, Rashford would first have to indicate he has changed his stance on leaving otherwise PSG don’t want to waste time trying for a transfer without clear player buy in.”
Rashford has endured a down season this year, though there are no suggestions he or Man Utd want to sever ties at this stage.
As Jacobs stated, there’d have to be a change of heart on the player’s end before a transfer to Paris became truly viable.
Another left winger PSG are understood to be considering as their Mbappe replacement is AC Milan’s Rafael Leao.
Ratcliffe decision cast doubt on Bruno future
Elsewhere, Portuguese outlet Record recently reported Al-Hilal had put an astronomical offer to Bruno Fernandes in the winter window.
The 29-year-old snubbed the lucrative switch to Saudi Arabia in a show of loyalty to Man Utd. It was also claimed Fernandes believes there’s unfinished business at Old Trafford.
However, both the Sun and Daily Mail stressed the story won’t end there, with Al-Hilal unwilling to take no for an answer.
A new and improved offer will reportedly be put to Fernandes in the summer. Failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League could impact Fernandes’ reluctance to leave Man Utd.
But according to Football Insider, there’s another reason why Fernandes might decide to push for a move.
They state incoming part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is keen to rein in the club’s gigantic outlay on player wages.
As such, Fernandes isn’t likely to be offered a significant increase on his current deal when it comes time to discussing an extension.
Fernandes’ deal doesn’t expire until 2026 and there’s a club option for an extra year. Nonetheless, in lieu of being handed the captaincy, the report states talks over a new deal could take place at season’s end.
If United do play hardball with Fernandes’ salary, there’s a chance he could look more favourably on a move to Saudi Arabia.