Barcelona are reportedly considering a shock swoop for Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford as they look for a new leader for their attacking unit.

According to a report from Catalan publication El Nacional, Barcelona are eyeing a surprise move for Manchester United and England attacker Marcus Rashford in the summer transfer window of 2022.

Rashford is a product of the Manchester United youth academy. The 24-year-old has been on the club’s books since 2005 and made his first-team breakthrough in 2016, under then-manager Louis van Gaal. Quickly establishing himself as a regular in the senior side and a key forward for the team, he has already accumulated 282 appearances for the Red Devils, despite his young age.

So far in his career with Manchester United, Rashford has plundered 91 goals and 57 assists. Having started as a centre-forward, he has been largely used on the left flank in recent years, where he has thrived for club and country. 

However, the past half a year has been a difficult one for Rashford. From his failings at the UEFA Euro 2020 with England to being sidelined close to three months in the new season due to a shoulder surgery, which led to him missing a large chunk of games, things haven’t gone all too well for the 24-year-old this term so far.

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Indeed, in his 11 appearances across all competitions in 2021/22, he has a paltry tally of three goals and an assist, which is well below what is expected of a player of his quality. As a result, the report claims that interim manager Ralf Rangnick, who has been brought in to change things up at the club, might consider the England international as an expendable asset if his form does not improve.

Should that be the case, Barcelona, it seems, are ready to pounce at the end of the season. The Catalans are on the hunt for a new striker after seeing Sergio Aguero be sidelined indefinitely due to a heart condition. Martin Braithwaite is, at best, seen as a backup option while summer signing Luuk de Jong does not feature in the plans of manager Xavi Hernandez & co.

Barcelona are expected to address the issue by bringing in at least one forward in January, with another Manchester United striker, Edinson Cavani, being linked with a move. However, they also plan to bring in a marquee player to lead their attack in the summer transfer window, with Rashford’s name on the wishlist of the Catalan giants.

The report mentions that this is not the first time the Blaugrana have shown an interest in Rashford, although their past attempts have always been met with rejections from Manchester United. However, it also states that an offer of over €70 million could lead to the Premier League bigwigs reconsidering their position on their current No. 10.

But, given Barcelona’s sorry financial status would mean that they are hardly in a position to meet such high figures. So, any chances of a move for Rashford look bleak at best, although Manchester United would look to tie him down to a new deal with his current one expiring in eighteen months.

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