5 transfer options for Marcus Rashford to leave Man Utd as "phone hasn't stopped ringing"
Marcus Rashford's future at Manchester United is thoroughly under the spotlight and Barcelona have become the latest club linked with a transfer swoop for the struggling national treasure
For the first time in Marcus Rashford 's short but shining career, his Manchester United future is shrouded in uncertainty.
The Reds Devils' No.10 was the poster boy of Old Trafford not so long ago; a boyhood fan, academy graduate and national treasure thanks to his incredible charity work. But in March 2022, Rashford's time in United's first team is undoubtedly at its lowest ebb, having looked a shadow of his former self since returning from injury in October following long overdue surgery on his shoulder.
Upon his omission from Gareth Southgate's latest England squad, the 24-year-old is set to spend the next fortnight weighing up his future after interim manager Ralf Rangnick told him, publicly, that he's welcome to leave during the summer transfer window. Add to that reports of Rashford considering his future and a verbal spat with supporters on Tuesday night - when the Red Devils were dumped out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid - it comes as no surprise to hear "the phone hasn't stopped ringing" regarding his services.
That's according to the Manchester Evening News, who reckon a European giant have already registered their interest in signing the versatile forward come the summer months. With that in mind, here are five potential transfer options for Rashford if he were to leave United.
Kicking off with the MEN's claim, Barca have expressed their interest after it emerged following the recent Manchester Derby that Rashford was indeed considering his future at Old Trafford. He'd been benched by Rangnick for the match, but failed to show much enthusiasm when he entered the fray as a second-half substitute.
It's hard to disagree that Rashford wouldn't slot nicely into Xavi Hernandez's attack, with a budding Blaugrana looking destined for big things at the Camp Nou. It's also not the first time Rashford has been linked with a switch Catalonia, having previously been touted as a target back in 2019. And less than a year ago, he admitted his respect for Barcelona's standing in world football - and their arch enemies'.
"I would never say no," Rashford told the Guardian regarding a potential move away in the future. "Other than United? I'm a big fan of Real Madrid and Barcelona because they've always had great players and played attractive football. Everybody watches Real Madrid and Barcelona."
Another club believed to be fans of Rashford are none other than cash-rich PSG, currently enduring a crisis of their own after a humiliating Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid last week. With star Kylian Mbappe looking nailed on to leave when his contract in the French capital expires in just three months' time, Rashford would be a stylistic fit to replace him.
Les Parisians certainly know all about him too, having netted a dramatic game-winning penalty against them three years ago - another of their Champions League embarrassments - and scored again at the Parc des Princes last term in the group phase. Ex-boss Thomas Tuchel talked him up amid those clashes, and it sounds like PSG chiefs have been listening.
Speaking of cash-rich clubs, Newcastle are now technically the richest on the planet. Enjoying the first fruits of a new era under Eddie Howe, their next move in the transfer market is expected to be in search of more attacking artillery. One of the bookies' favourites to land his signature, he'd no-doubt get the love on Tyneside that he's seemingly lacking back home.
As much as the Toon Army's pockets can speak, it would be a huge downgrade in terms of league position and European status compared to Rashford's other suitors, who regularly compete for trophies. But someone needs to take Newcastle back to the big time, and it could well be him.
One glaring issue in Rashford's senior career that's been out of his control is the lack of a consistent coach at club level, someone who gives him a defined role over a prolonged period. Louis van Gaal first saw him as a central striker, while Jose Mourinho was insistent on using his speed out wide. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer then proceeded to chop and change his position, much like Rangnick.
Antonio Conte, however, knows how to get a front line firing in the Premier League, and who could deny that a front three of Rashford, Heung-min Son and Harry Kane would pose a formidable threat to any defence in the world. Although it remains to be seen how deep Daniel Levy's pockets are for Conte - who could still quit depending on Spurs' end to the season - a life in London and with a new-look Tottenham might be the fresh start a post-United Rashford needs.
An under-performing player moving from one club expected to challenge for the title each campaign to one who are almost certain to win it every season seems a strange proposition on the surface, but Bayern Munich might soon be in need of a reboot. Albeit while continuing to dominate the Bundesliga, the Bavarians could be forced to sell two of their best forwards this summer: Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry.
The pair's contract's expire in June 2023 - like Rashford's - and neither appear close to agreeing fresh terms. A club always planning for the future, Bayern's guarantee of silverware is enough for any player to at least take some level of notice. Adding more credence to a potential transfer, the Red Devils could definitely do with players similar in calibre and profile to Lewandowski and Gnabry - swap deal, anyone?
Coincidentally, Rashford's only senior hat-trick came against the man now in charge of Bayern, Julian Nagelsmann, whose RB Leipzig were smashed 5-0 at Old Trafford last season. Given the German coaching prodigy's affinity towards United as a fellow boyhood fan, it's not out of the question to assume that he'll have been watching Rashford's progress very closely.