Sir Jim Ratcliffe needs 'hard conversation' with Man United ace but leaving talk is 'load of nonsense'

Sir Jim Ratcliffe at Old Trafford
Sir Jim Ratcliffe at Old Trafford -Credit:PA

It's been a difficult season for Marcus Rashford. After last season's heroics, where he bagged 30 goals, his form has deserted him.

Not just his form, though. Rashford's workrate and desire have been questioned by pundits including Roy Keane, with the striker looking a shadow of the player who tore up the Premier League at times last year.

The Manchester-born player has hit back at critics, saying he remains committed to Manchester United, but his performances - bar the odd spark - have continued to flounder. The Manchester Evening News reported this week that Coventry players were staggered by his poor display in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

It has led many people - pundits and fans - to suggest a parting of ways may be the best option for United and Rashford. The forward has been linked with Arsenal and Paris Saint Germain in recent months, although he has shown no inclination that he wants to leave.

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Former United striker Dwight Yorke knows all about the pressures of having to score goals at Old Trafford, and he insists Rashford remains one of the club's star players, despite him only finding the back of the net eight times for his club in 40 appearances this term. And Yorke says any talk of selling Rashford should be judged as 'a load of nonsense' - though he does admit the player needs to have an honest conversation about his future.

"Marcus Rashford is 26 years old, he still has time," said Yorke in conjunction with TVSportGuide. "Why wouldn't you give, arguably, your best player time?

"Okay, he's not performed like the best player at the club recently, but why would you sell him, unless he wants to move himself?

Manchester United midfielder Marcus Rashford
Manchester United midfielder Marcus Rashford -Credit:James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

"A hard conversation needs to be held with Rashford by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Erik ten Hag or the manager next season, to figure out what he wants to do. You want to hear from Rashford's mouth 'I want to stay and fight at the club'.

"He's 26 years old, coming into his prime, why would you get rid of him? There's still so much more to come from the kid, it's a load of nonsense if anyone wants to sell him now. He can still turn it around."

The lack of goals for United has been a real concern this season. They had notched just 47 times in the Premier League before the Sheffield United game, with Rashford, £72m summer signing Rasmus Hojlund and Anthony Martial all failing to hit double figures in the league.

Yorke says for the club to get back challenging for titles, a top-class centre-forward must be brought in during the summer - and the ex-Aston Villa frontman thinks raiding another of his old clubs may be the best bet.

"Man United need a top striker, like Victor Osimhen. Elite number nines are a dying breed, there are not many top strikers around anymore. I had never even heard of Rasmus Hojlund before he joined Man United.

"Ollie Watkins could be a player Man United look at, he's having a great season at Aston Villa, but can he make that next step up at Man United? We'd have to see. If Watkins forces his way into the England line-up, that might trigger Man United to go buy him.

"Outside of that, I can't think of any more strikers. The number nine position is not what it used to be."