Forget about summer exit – Ralf Rangnick sends strong message to Marcus Rashford

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Ralf Rangnick has told Marcus Rashford to put his future with Manchester United on hold until at least the summer, and instead concentrate on helping the club finish the season strong by regaining his best form.

After United’s 4-1 derby defeat to Manchester City, Rashford has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford. Despite United’s absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani, who will both return for Saturday’s match against Tottenham Hotspur, the 24-year-old sat on the bench until the second half.

Rangnick, United’s interim manager, said he has spoken to Rashford since then and that he is “happy,” but he also reminded the England forward that now is not the time to talk about a transfer.

Rangnick told a news conference on Friday, “I spoke with him yesterday [Thursday] and the day before yesterday, so I don’t know anything about that [wanting to leave].”

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“He didn’t say anything to me, but he told me he’s still happy and that he wants to perform well for the club.” There was no mention of him not being happy here.

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“Right now, the window is shut. Even if he and his agents or family consider switching clubs at some point during the summer, he can do so, but only during the summer. The window has now been closed.

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“It has nothing to do with the game tomorrow or the game on Tuesday.”

Rashford’s form has dipped recently, and he was named on the bench at the Etihad as Rangnick chose to face Pep Guardiola’s side without a recognised striker.

United’s No. 10 hasn’t scored since January 22 and has only scored twice this season, but Rangnick insists he’ll be a key player in the team while he’s in charge.

“As a player, I like Marcus,” the German said. “I’ve had a few in the past in previous clubs where they had issues at one point, but it’s our job to help him, to make Marcus Rashford the best Marcus Rashford he can be.”

“Right now, this is my job, and I’m dedicating all of my energy and time to it.”

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Meanwhile, Fred, a Brazilian international, commented on Rangnick’s interim status at United as the club considers who will be the manager for the 2022-23 season.

“It’s bad because we can’t build something long-term; we have to build something short-term,” Fred explained. “There are only a few games left in the Premier League, and while I hope to see us in the Champions League final, we must think in the short term for the time being. Let’s wait for the summer window, and before the season start, we can build a project for Manchester United.

“Manchester City, for example, did not become the powerhouse they are today overnight. Neither [Sir Alex] Ferguson’s winning United nor [Sir Alex] Ferguson’s winning United were built overnight. He took it one step at a time.

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