Man Utd leave Ten Hag vulnerable with Rashford among four regular starters facing uncertain futures, as Euro giant prepare to cause havoc

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Man Utd striker Marcus Rashford Credit: Alamy
Man Utd striker Marcus Rashford Credit: Alamy

PSG interest in Marcus Rashford is not going away and a Man Utd strategy is leaving Erik ten Hag vulnerable, though his star striker isn’t the only regular starter facing an uncertain future, per a report.

Arguably the form player in England since the World Cup is Man Utd frontman, Marcus Rashford. The 25-year-old has bagged 19 goals in 25 matches since returning from Qatar and has played a major role in teeing up what could potentially be a treble of cups (League Cup, FA Cup, Europa League).

Rashford was among a cluster of United stars who had the 12-month options in their contracts activated in December. The aim there was to safeguard United’s position and prevent Rashford and co. from being able to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs.

However, the likes of Rashford and fellow regular starters Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw (who also had one-year options triggered) will all be out of contract in the summer of 2024.

As such, decisions on the trio need to be made sooner rather than later, while David de Gea’s situation is even more urgent.

The Athletic have now provided a comprehensive update on the quartet, and United’s reluctance to sanction high salaries may become a point of contention.

Firstly, the report highlights De Gea who did not see the one-year option in his deal activated. As such he’ll become a free agent in June.

United opted against triggering the clause in favour of negotiating a new, long-term deal in the first half of 2023.

De Gea is understood to be willing to commit his future at Old Trafford, though United want to greatly reduce his basic salary.

He currently pockets around £375,000-a-week and United hope to slash that number almost in half with a new weekly wage of £200,000 cited.

Losing De Gea would be a blow to United, not least because Dean Henderson has begun pushing for a move away. Losing both stoppers in the same summer would divert much of United’s transfer kitty between the sticks and away from their centre-forward pursuit.

But while losing De Gea would stint, seeing Rashford leave would be truly crippling.

READ MORE: Man Utd star ‘is leaving’ this summer as talk of tempting Serie A offer amplifies

Man Utd risking Ten Hag wrath over Rashford

On that front, the Athletic acknowledge Rashford holds the upper hand in negotiations given his superb form this season.

Initial talks between the forward’s camp and United officials have been held and more are scheduled to take place. However, it’s claimed there have been ‘no major steps forward’ as yet.

A potential takeover of the club will not affect United’s plans for Rashford, nor is the fact he’s one of many players whose contracts all need addressing at the same time.

However, United’s so-called ‘Ronaldo rule’ – refusing to pay high salaries to ensure there’s a smaller gap between the club’s bottom and top earners – could be a sticking point.

Indeed, United are hoping to keep their wage bill in check and are unlikely to commit to anything close to the £400,000-a-week PSG have already offered Rashford.

The French giant showed interest in Rashford in 2022 and the Athletic claim their interest ‘is not going anywhere’.

United were kept abreast of the talks between PSG and Rsshford’s camp which are described as ‘above board’. Though if United and Rashford cannot find common ground, PSG will be ready to cause havoc and pluck the homegrown ace from Old Trafford.

Aside from Rashford and De Gea, starting full-backs, Dalot and Shaw, are also coming to a crossroads.

Like Rashford, their deals expire in the summer of 2024 and the Athletic conclude the trio’s ‘futures at the club beyond the end of next season is uncertain’.

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