Marcus Rashford’s long-term future at Manchester United has been the subject of wild speculation amid the expected imminent takeover of the Premier League giants.
As the Glazers work around the clock to sell the club to the highest bidder, the England international’s future at Old Trafford has had to take a back seat to accommodate the takeover procedure.
While everyone at the club is committed to tying Rashford down to a new deal, the path leading to his contract extension will likely be bumpy if the early days of negotiations are anything to go by.
The 25-year-old is Man Utd’s eighth highest-paid player, with his weekly wages of £200,000 lagging well behind the Red Devils’ top-tier earners, some of which don’t even deserve their meaty paycheques.
For example, out-of-sorts Jadon Sancho is taking home around £350,000 a week despite continuing to deliver inconsistent performances on a weekly basis.
As the club’s best-performing player and arguably the most valuable asset, Rashford is unlikely to settle for anything less, while some reports even suggest he’d demand as much as £400,000 per week to sign a new deal.
Despite the Red Devils’ desperate desire to keep their headline performer on board, it’ll likely take a significant financial effort to get the deal over the line.
Recent rumours over United’s idea of enforcing a wage cap further deterred the free-scoring striker from accelerating extension talks, throwing his stay in Manchester in jeopardy.
Even though Rashford and Man United share a mutual affection for each other, the highly-rated forward may shock the public by departing his boyhood club at the end of the season.
We’ve compiled a list of four potential destinations for the Englishman should ongoing contract talks fall flat.
Barcelona have been on Rashford’s tail for years, even considering him a top-notch candidate to fill Lionel Messi’s shoes following his switch to Paris Saint-Germain in 2021.
However, they’ve never made any concrete attempt to lure him to La Liga, in part due to the club’s recent financial wobble and a ballooning wage bill that’s brought the club under heavy scrutiny in recent years.
Barca’s poor economic state makes Camp Nou a far-fetched destination for the Man United superstar, yet they’ve proved capable of bending the rules in the past.
You don’t have to look beyond their lavish overspending last summer to comprehend their unique ability to work around Financial Fair Play regulations and play by their own rules.
So watch out for the Blaugrana.
One of the clubs to fall victim to Barcelona’s infamous capacity to get away with shady deals was Bayern Munich, who were robbed of Robert Lewandowski’s services last summer.
The perennial Bundesliga champions have failed to find a suitable replacement for the Polish goal-getter, turning to Sadio Mane to fill the void instead.
While the Senegalese forward is well-versed in playing as a false nine, a lack of an out-and-out striker has thrown Bayern’s Bundesliga title bid into doubt for the first time in years.
Their underwhelming domestic season reached a breaking point last week when the Bavarians sacked Julian Nagelsmann and housed Thomas Tuchel as his successor.
Tuchel had witnessed Rashford’s brilliance first-hand during his time at Chelsea and could look to make him his marquee signing when the transfer window opens for business in the summer.
Among the clubs to hold a long-term interest in Rashford are Real Madrid, who have been keeping close tabs on his development for years.
Following last summer’s epic failure in their pursuit of Kylian Mbappe, Los Merengues have shifted their attention towards other targets, including the Man Utd talisman.
Known for their penchant for bringing the world’s hottest prospects to Santiago Bernabeu, the reigning Champions League holders have not stayed immune to Rashford’s charm.
And unlike Barcelona, they have the means to pull the deal through.
PSG have added Rashford to their shortlist amid Messi’s uncertain future in Ligue 1.
If there’s a club comfortable with allocating stratospheric figures to complete their extravagant purchases, it’s the French giants.
Despite smashing the world’s transfer record fee twice as part of their effort to assemble a top-class roster, Les Parisiens have yet to win the Champions League.
That’s unlikely to slow them down in the future, with the wealthy Qatari owners already plotting their next moves in the transfer market, one of which could see Rashford move from the Premier League.
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