Monday 11 December 2017

Marcus Rashford stalls on Manchester United contract extension over lack of game time

Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford

Luke Brown

Marcus Rashford is stalling on agreeing a contract extension at Manchester United and will consider his future at the end of the season.

The 19-year old forward is frustrated at a lack of playing time in his second season in the United first-team and, according to The Times, has severe doubts that he will ever be given an extended run in the starting XI under Jose Mourinho.

Rashford broke into the United first-team under Louis van Gaal last season and made an immediate impact at Old Trafford, scoring five goals in 11 Premier League appearances – as well scoring two more in the Europa League – before ending his season with a call-up to Roy Hodgson’s ill-fated Euro 2016 squad. 

But the forward has struggled for opportunities under Mourinho this season and has reportedly grown frustrated with the amount of time he has spent on the substitutes bench, fearing that his career is going backwards.

He has not scored a goal in the Premier League since September, and has scored only three goals in the League this campaign, and his place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for forthcoming games against Germany and Lithuania now looks to be under threat.

The teenager was rewarded with a new £50,000 a week contract extension in September, only four months after signing his previous deal. But The Times report he has stalled over recent talks to double his wages in a new extension deal.

Rashford’s apparent resistance to committing his long-term future to the club comes despite Mourinho dedicating a large part of a recent news conference to praising the player.

Speaking ahead of United’s Premier League match against Watford, which they won 2-0 thanks to goals from Juan Mata and Anthony Martial, Mourinho defended the player for “missing some chances” in recent matches and backed him to overcome the infamous second season syndrome.

“I’m always happy with Marcus Rashford's contribution. He is one of those players that when he is on the pitch he tries, and he always gives something,” Mourinho told reporters.

“I know that last season under no pressure, last season in front of the goal, the goal was bigger. And I know this season the expectations are higher, the pressure is higher and the goal is smaller.

“I think next season will be very, very good for Marcus because this season he is getting experience at this level of responsibility of being a professional player at a club like Manchester United.”

There would be no shortage of suitors for Rashford’s signature if the player was to attempt to force a move away from Old Trafford.

West Ham United and Seville both attempted to sign Rashford on loan in January. And as a young, pacy forward adept at playing in wide offensive positions, he perfectly fits the profile of attacking player both Liverpool and Tottenham are attempting to sign in the forthcoming summer transfer window.

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