Marcus Rashford is perhaps Manchester United’s most important player after Paul Pogba, and his contract renewal this season was expected to go through smoothly. Recent reports indicate that Spanish champions Barcelona are interested in the young forward, who has 13 goals and 6 assists to his name this season. With the scale of rebuilding manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to accomplish becoming clear with this week’s 3-0 loss to Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, Rashford has a strong bargaining position and it has been claimed that the youngster is stalling negotiations by demanding a 200,000 weekly wage.
Rashford is a Manchester United academy product, who was given his debut as an 18-year old by then-United manager Louis van Gaal in the 2015-16 season. He has grown from strength to strength since and was given the Number 10 jersey at the start of this season – a symbol of how important the club believe the youngster is. The 21-year-old has bags of pace and was instrumental in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 upset against Paris Saint-Germain. Rashford is also an integral part of the England national team, having scored 6 goals in 31 appearances for the Three Lions.
With Barcelona apparently ready with a bid for the talismanic striker, his agents are reportedlydragging their feet over contract renewal negotiations with the United management. Rashford is demanding a £200,000 weekly wage and assurances from the technical staff that he will feature prominantly in their plans for coming seasons. United really cannot afford to let go of their prodigious talent, especially since they could potentially finish outside the top four this season, a factor that will definitely reduce the amount of talent they can attract during the transfer season.
The Red Devils face Everton away this Sunday in the Premier League. With just five games left in the season and United, Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal all within striking distance of a top four spot, every game is must-win for Solskjaer and company.