Although Marcus Rashford is reportedly interested in a transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, this could also be an effort to move forward with contract negotiations with Manchester United.
Since the Ed Woodward era ended, Manchester United has been determined to approach things differently. One of the worst excesses of that time was the way contracts were given to players who had done little to merit them.
Woodward believed that new contracts protected a player’s value, but in reality, they rewarded mediocrity and made it harder to let those players go because of their higher wages.
United will want to dispel the perception that they were soft on contract extensions. The new strategy is already being applied to Marcus Rashford.
Last week, Rashford’s representatives met with Paris St. Germain representatives, and the Ligue 1 champions have long been interested in signing the 24-year-old.
The United academy graduate’s current contract has a year left on it as well as a one-year option, but there is no way a departure this summer will be tolerated given the lack of attacking options available to Erik ten Hag this year.
Officials from United are skeptical that PSG will make an offer before the transfer window closes on September 1 and have a hunch that the meeting could be a ploy to advance contract negotiations. It’s a tactic that players frequently employ, and it comes in response to reports that Rashford was considering leaving the team in March.
Rashford hasn’t done much to merit a new contract and a pay raise, so United must strike a balance in this regard. In actuality, his form has plunged to the ground.
Despite the belief that Ten Hag’s coaching would help him, he showed some promise during the preseason but was once again disappointing on the first day of the season. His long-term slump still hasn’t ended.
Erik ten Hag announces that Marcus Rashford won’t join PSG: “Rashford is really important, you have seen from the first day – I'm really happy with him and definitely don't want to lose him”. 🚨🔴 #MUFC
“Rashford is in our plans. He will stay at Manchester United”. pic.twitter.com/5sISF8RTuc
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 12, 2022
Rashford may yet prove to be a significant success under the Ten Hag era as it is still early in the season. He is currently the clear favorite to start on the left and will get the playing time he fought for in March.
However, instead of starting discussions about a longer extension, United should simply exercise the option in Rashford’s contract, which ties him down until 2024. This is an opportunity for the club’s CEO Richard Arnold and football director John Murtough to change the way the organization runs.
Rashford’s options should not be ignored, as doing so would only suggest that contract extensions and pay raises are still simple to come by at Old Trafford. There is still an outstanding player there, but the forward has been out of form for the past 18 months.
Just five goals and two assists were recorded in 32 appearances during the season, and only six goals have been scored in his last 43 games for his club. This is not the appropriate format for a new contract with United.
Rashford praised Ten Hag’s influence when he returned to preseason training, and he did the same while on the preseason tour in Melbourne.
For me, it’s a new beginning, something I’m anticipating, he said. “Training has gone well for the first two and a half weeks. We have come a long way. We have a lot of room for improvement and the team is much more fit than it was last year. I am in a good place right now and am eager to start practicing for the season and play more games.
The preseason vigor lost steam on the first weekend of the Premier League season, but it’s still early and Rashford can still contribute to a United comeback.
If he succeeds, he should be given a new contract, but for the time being, United should keep their options open and only extend his current contract.