The Red Devils defeated Leicester 3-0 on Sunday, maintaining their outsider’s bid for the league crown. The Foxes could have, and perhaps should have, grabbed the lead in the first half, but Marcus Rashford’s profligacy in front of the goal was not matched.
The United striker was once again played up front, with Wout Weghorst filling in as a No. 10. Rashford scored his 15th and 16th goals since the World Cup as a result of the tactical change.
The 25-year-old increased his season total to 24 in all competitions. The total already surpasses his best single-season goal total, and United could still have about 25 games to play depending on their cup progress.
Rashford was one of several players whose one-year options in their contracts were exercised over the holidays. He’s under contract through the summer of 2024, though United hopes he’ll stay much longer.
Indeed, Fabrizio Romano tweeted on Monday that a Rashford contract is the club’s “top priority” right now.
Erik ten Hag and company are said to ‘insist’ on progress, and David Ornstein has supplied a positive update on that front.
Writing for the Athletic, Ornstein stated early negotiations have already taken place and ‘more are anticipated’.
One minor concern was the current ambiguity around a possible takeover of the club. The Glazers have put up a for sale sign, and bids have come in from Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani and British industrialist Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
Teams facing unclear futures off the field frequently postpone new contract talks, like Chelsea did when Roman Abramovich was selling up in mid-2022.
But, Ornstein said that Rashford’s contract negotiations will be unaffected by United’s potential takeover. On the contrary, the club has already budgeted for numerous new extensions, with Rashford being the most desired.
Three more Manchester United deals are ‘progressing.’
Other than Rashford, Romano stated that talks for a new contract for right-back Diogo Dalot will ‘begin’ very soon.
Ornstein mentioned Dalot as well, but he stated that David de Gea and Luke Shaw are in line for extensions.
Talks with the trio are ‘progressing,’ according to the dependable journalist.
The one-year options in Dalot’s and Shaw’s contracts were exercised at the same time as Rashford’s. As a result, they’re also under contract through the summer of 2024.
However, United chose not to exercise De Gea’s option and instead attempted to negotiate a new contract from the ground up.
If Ornstein is correct, United’s action appears to be justified.