Report: Manchester United to Open Talks with Marcus Rashford over New Contract

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2018

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 11: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on November 11, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United are reportedly set to open contract talks with Marcus Rashford amid speculation Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus are interested in the forward. 

According to Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star, the Red Devils want to open discussions with Rashford over an extension to his current deal that would see him take home a weekly wage of £150,000, double his current salary.

"Rashford put talks on hold towards the end of last season over concerns about his role in the team and lack of starts under Jose Mourinho," said Cross. "... Rashford holds all the aces when it comes to negotiations and will use his position of strength to secure a deal that will make him one of the highest-paid stars in Mourinho's squad."

Cross added that both Real Madrid and PSG are considering moving for the 21-year-old at the end of the season. It was also reported by The TimesPaul Joyce that Italian champions Juventus are "compiling a dossier" with a view to a possible swoop for the player.

A new contract for Rashford does make sense, as the forward is regarded as one of the most exciting prospects in English football. His current deal with United expires at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

While there are still inconsistencies in his game, the forward has shown for both United and the Three Lions that he can be a devastating outlet in the final third. The youngster is blisteringly quick, has excellent close control and the physicality to hold off challenging defenders.

As noted by commentator Ian Darke, Rashford can appear shackled given his lack of attacking freedom under Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford:

Ian Darke @IanDarke

Surely a message for Mourinho yesterday. Set Rashford free to run at defences. Snag is Martial getting goals from left for Utd.

In recent weeks the forward has been playing regularly again for United, with Romelu Lukaku dropped to the bench and then absent through injury. Rashford has played a part in a resurgence of sorts for the team too, including a last-gasp winner in the game away at Bournemouth.

While he's still young, some would've anticipated Rashford to have made more progress after breaking into the team at the end of the 2015-16 campaign as a teenager. Since then, the England international has been more prone to flashes of brilliance as opposed to a consistent run of excellent form.

Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News bemoaned his profligacy earlier in the campaign:

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

There‘s no point dwelling on Rashford’s fearless start to his career as a striker. It was anomalous and he has developed an unwanted knack for missing big and often easy chances over the last 18 months or so. Wears the number 10 for a reason at #mufc & needs to nail down a role.

There is still a lot of developing for Rashford to do, and it appears the Red Devils want him to continue progressing at Old Trafford on a new long-term contract.

Rashford will no doubt want reassurances over his role at the club before committing his future to them, and if there is interest from the teams mentioned, that will surely catch his attention. However, having emerged from United's academy to become a regular first-team player, he'll surely want to prolong his stay with the Red Devils.