The tricky £80m transfer dilemma that could see Man Utd embroiled in saga of the summer

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It's set to be another summer of upheaval at Old Trafford, and Man Utd have a big-money dilemma to confront

There was a time, not that long ago, when the prospect of Marcus Rashford leaving Manchester United would have been wholly unimaginable. The boyhood Red Devil, on the books since the age of seven, broke into the first team as a teenager, and was subsequently anointed as the precocious poster boy of a hopeful new era at Old Trafford.

Since then, however, years have passed, optimism has receded, and Rashford himself has increasingly faced rabid scrutiny over the consistency and quality of his output. Whereas last season he registered 30 goals in 56 outings across all competitions, this term he has mustered up just seven in 34, and to witness him dawdle and drift around on the left flank can often be to empathise with certain persistent frustrations espoused by United supporters.

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It is within this context that the Daily Star reports sudden and heavy interest in the 26-year-old from French giants Paris Saint-Germain. According to the tabloid, a bid of around £80 million is being readied, with a further £500,000 allocated to cover the Mancunian's wages on a weekly basis. It is understood that Kylian Mbappe will finally complete his long-awaited transfer to Real Madrid this summer, and PSG believe that Rashford could be the ideal replacement for the talismanic forward.

Whether United and the player himself can be convinced, however, remains to be seen. For one thing, it is claimed that the Red Devils value Rashford at somewhere closer to £100 million, while the attacker, who is under contract until 2027, released a statement just last month reiterating his commitment to the cause at Old Trafford.

But there are reasons, arguably now more than ever, to be doubtful over his future. While form continues to be an issue for Rashford, away from the pitch he has also come in for criticism in recent times. Most notably, there was the incident in a Belfast nightclub in January which led to him returning to training late and missing an FA Cup clash with lower league Newport County. The extent to which the subsequent media hysteria was justified is a matter of some debate, but at the very least, it was indicative of the manner in which Rashford is viewed in this country. Unfairly or otherwise, he seems to be held to a higher standard than most, and at a certain point, you have to question how healthy those expectations are.

Perhaps then, if there was ever a time at which Rashford would consider a fresh start away from the immediate glare of the Premier League's limelight, it would be now. You need only look at the likes of Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham, and to a certain extent, United outcast Jadon Sancho to see the potential benefits of an English player taking the decision to ply their trade abroad.

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And then there is United's perspective. For the first time in his career, maybe it is not so set in stone that Rashford will spend the entirety of his playing days at the club. Sir Jim Ratcliffe has arrived and is boldly hinting towards a considerable overhaul of the Old Trafford dressing room this summer. Were Rashford anybody other than a cherished academy graduate, would the Red Devils and their new recruitment sugar daddy consider an offer of around £80 million for an asset in his kind of form? Very probably, yes. And then you ask the question, what makes Marcus so different? Sentimentality does not win you trophies.

None of this is to say that United will sell Rashford in the coming months, nor is it to say that they should. But maybe, just maybe, the Red Devils could be facing more of a dilemma than you might initially assume.

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