Chelsea and Atletico Madrid have thrown their hats in the ring to sign Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford on a free transfer.
The England star is out of contract at the end of this season, although the club has the option of extending the deal by another year.
And according to a report by Italian outlet Il Repubblica, should a deal not be concluded by United, the Londoners and Spaniards have already made it known that they would welcome signing Rashford if he allows his contract to run down.
“Chelsea have a keen interest on the player,” the outlet says.
“The Londoners … are interested in the England international and the request for € 12 million net per season, excluding bonuses, does not scare the Blues’ ownership.
“Rashford’s priority is to renew his contract with United, but in the event of a black smoke, Chelsea will attempt to go for the striker as early as January.
“Outside the Premier League, the 24-year-old is also highly esteemed by Simeone’s Atletico Madrid, who had already asked the club for a flexible striker in the past market session, capable of playing both in the role of first striker and in that of attacking winger.”
Whilst it may be true that both clubs mentioned are keeping tabs on the situation, there are some problems with the account.
First, it does not mention that extra optional year that the club has, which United would of course trigger rather than allowing the player to leave for free.
Second, the reported salary demand of €12 million seems well below the sort of figure that Rashford would, in fact, be demanding and is even slightly lower than his current deal.
As per Spotrac.com, the 24 year old currently earns just over €12 million, so given his age, there would be no reason why United would not be willing to continue to pay that on a new contract. In all likelihood Rashford’s camp would be looking for an increase on that amount.
Recent reports have claimed that talks are already underway between club and player over a new deal. After a difficult period, an upturn in form means it is the perfect time for the Academy graduate to get a better deal than he perhaps would have a few weeks ago.
The timing of the report could therefore be the result of a warning shot to United leaked by Rashford’s people that they had better agree to his terms, and fast. They are very wise to strike while the iron is hot.