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Barcelona 'reignite interest in Manchester United's Marcus Rashford'

Barcelona 'reignite interest in Marcus Rashford'
© Reuters
Barcelona reportedly rekindle their interest in Manchester United's Marcus Rashford and are considering offering Raphinha in exchange for the Englishman.

Barcelona have reportedly reignited their interest in out-of-form Manchester United attacker Marcus Rashford.

The 26-year-old was linked with a switch to Camp Nou during his struggles under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick in the 2021-22 season, only for Erik ten Hag to convince him to stay put.

Ten Hag's decision to keep Rashford around was justified, as the England international rediscovered his golden touch in the 2022-23 campaign, scoring 30 goals and providing 11 assists in 56 games across all tournaments.

Rashford's return to form saw him rewarded with a new long-term contract in the summer, which is not due to expire until 2028, but the attacker has now experienced another sharp decline in form.

From 19 appearances in the current season, Rashford has only managed two goals and four assists and was lambasted for a mediocre display in last weekend's defeat to Newcastle United, where he was taken off on the 61-minute mark.

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford  on September 30, 2023© Reuters

The Red Devils academy product was subsequently dropped to the bench for Wednesday's 2-1 win over Chelsea, where Rasmus Hojlund, Antony and Alejandro Garnacho were all preferred in the final third.

Ex-Man United defender Patrice Evra fears that Rashford could be set for a spell out of the starting lineup amid his dismal spell of form, and his future is now dominating headlines once again.

According to Italian outlet Calciomercato, Barcelona are showing an interest in bringing Rashford to Camp Nou for the 2024-25 season and could even throw in Raphinha as part of the bargain.

Barcelona won an intense battle with Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur to prise Raphinha away from Leeds United last summer, but the Brazil international has struggled to fully settle in Catalonia.

The emergence of Lamine Yamal has overshadowed Raphinha's contributions this term, and the La Liga champions are also believed to be working on a permanent deal for Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix at the end of the season.

Barcelona's Raphinha in action with Atletico Madrid's Rodrigo Riquelme on December 3, 2023© Reuters

Raphinha also possesses a long-running contract with Barcelona, who tied him down until 2027 upon his arrival, but he has made just four La Liga starts this term and is facing an uncertain future yet again.

The 26-year-old boasts 12 goals and 16 assists from 64 matches in a Blaugrana jersey and has also been linked with Liverpool as part of an exchange with Luis Diaz, but the Reds have no interest in parting ways with the Colombian.

Meanwhile, Rashford's tally for Man United now stands at 125 goals and 72 assists from 378 appearances in all tournaments, although Ten Hag recently confessed that "everyone is disappointed" by the Englishman's decline in form.

Antony and Garnacho's noticeable improvement could see Rashford named on the bench once again when Man United return to Premier League action at home to Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.

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Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford on December 2, 2023
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