Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has compared Marcus Rashford to Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe as the former’s contract talks with United stall.
Rashford has been the subject of interest from several European giants, with the Englishman yet to put pen to paper on a new deal at Old Trafford.
The 25-year-old has been a man reborn for United this term, notching up eight goals and three assists in 19 appearances across all competitions.
He continued his impressive displays while on international duties with England and finished the competition as the Three Lions’ joint-top scorer with three goals.
However, there are worries at United over Rashford’s contract issue with the United academy product yet to pledge his future to the club.
Ten Hag insists that while United have their part to play in convincing the Englishman to commit, the ultimate decision rests with the player.
“He [Marcus] has to make a decision,” Ten Hag told MUTV. “The only thing we can do is show him this is the best club to be in, which has to do with the culture of the club and also in the way we are working, in the way we play, and the way we train and if we are offering the right environment to progress.
“It’s a financial issue as well. Then it is up to him to make the decision. But for one-and-a-half years, he will be here.”
Ten Hag also compared Rashford with Mbappe for his excellent positioning in the final third. “From the first moment, I recognised huge potential,” Ten Hag added.
“And now to get out the potential, I believe when Marcus’s positioning is on the back of the defending line, there is almost no better player in the world.
“There is Mbappe in this moment, a type like him, but when he [Marcus] is getting in that position, he’s great, and you see he’s really improved also out of possession.”
Money or Ambition: The cause for delay
The contract ping-pong between player and club will continue to linger until both sides find common ground.
But United are confident they will not lose the player this summer because of a one-year extension clause in Rashford’s current deal.
However, Rashford is no stranger to interest from European heavyweights, with PSG and Real Madrid keeping a close eye on his current situation. The player could be having his head swayed by admiration from such clubs.
Ten Hag admitted that the finances on the table is one of the reasons for the delay, with the player currently on a £200,000-a-week deal, and United may have to break the bank and their wage structure to keep their academy star.
Rashford’s demands come after a career revival under his new manager. He looked past his prime last term when he recorded just five goals and two assists in 32 appearances across all competitions.
A player transformed with his contributions for club and country this term, Rashford could also be eyeing a move to one of the ‘bigger clubs’ with PSG and Madrid willing to offer him much more than United are currently putting on the table.
The second part of the current season could be key to sorting out Rashford’s future. If there is no breakthrough in the contract talks, United could cash in on the player for a significant sum, especially if he continues his resurgence.
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