Manchester United have made ‘significant progress’ over securing a new contract for Marcus Rashford, according to the BBC‘s Simon Stoney.
The 21-year-old established himself as Man United’s first-choice striker over the 2018/19 season, moving ahead of Romelu Lukaku in the pecking order following a string of excellent displays under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Rashford’s current deal, which reportedly sees him earn around £75,000-a-week, expires at the end of next season.
According to Stoney, United have made decisive progress in contract talks with Rashford’s camp and are confident a deal will be done. He will not, thankfully, receive the gross wage-package mistakenly handed to Alexis Sanchez, but his new contract is set to reflect Solskjaer’s emphasis on championing local youth as the masthead of United’s rebuild.
Bit more good news for @ManUtd. Significant progress made on new contract for Marcus Rashford. Confidence now that deal will be done. Big increase in wage – maybe not as big as £350,000 – but reflective of status and OGS's emphasis on youth.
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) June 29, 2019
Rashford had attracted interest from Barcelona, according to reports from Spain, with the La Liga champions keen on finding a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez.
But that was never going to be allowed to happen under Solskjaer’s watch. The Norwegian actively helped Rashford become better last season – before injuries and lack of fitness saw him trail off – by not just working with him technically but through placing extra responsibility on his shoulders, by telling him to challenge himself and to be bold playing down the middle.
Sometimes, inscribing certain traits – in Rashford’s case, an element of centrality, of being the main man leading the line, not shunted out wide like under Jose Mourinho – onto players allows these exact traits to blossom and become real. A new contract for United’s No.10 is part of that process.
Solskjaer, one of United’s greatest modern strikers, believes in Rashford. We should believe in him too.