Erik ten Hag has told Marcus Rashford he is critical to his plans to make Manchester United great again amid uncertainty over the England striker’s long-term future at the club.
Rashford is in the form of his life, having scored 17 goals this season, but the 25-year-old has entered the final 18 months of his contract at Old Trafford and is attracting strong interest from Paris St-Germain.
United are in dialogue with Rashford’s representatives over a new deal, but the player is understood to be firmly focused on his football and keen to avoid any distractions for now as he targets silverware this season.
It means that United – who meet Nottingham Forest in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final at the City Ground tonight – could face an anxious wait on Rashford’s future, with PSG and other potential suitors lurking. But Ten Hag has told the player he is at the best club to realise his ambitions and that the team is being built to maximise his talents.
Asked how important it is that United keep Rashford and how talks were progressing, Ten Hag said: “The last (question) I can’t answer; it is confidential about talks between clubs and players. I think he understands Man United is his club, that’s first – but also, in this environment, in this team, I think he is playing his best football.
“He is improving, and that is about him because he’s working on the good things. He is giving 100 per cent energy in it and he has a good plan, and I think also in this team he can bring his qualities.
“This team is constructed (so) that his qualities come to the fore, and I think he knows that. But, yes, he is important for us and if we want to get the success we want, we need him.”
Rashford would only have 12 months left on his contract should United fail to tie him to a new deal, and that would leave the striker in a strong bargaining position.
PSG are likely to be in the market for a top attacker this summer with Lionel Messi, who is out of contract at the end of the season, wanted by MLS franchise Inter Miami and Kylian Mbappe still coveted by Real Madrid.
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