Real Madrid are reportedly weighing up the prospect of signing Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford if they cannot land Erling Haaland.

According to a report by Spanish outlet Defensa Central, Marcus Rashford has emerged as a possible alternate option for Real Madrid in the contingency that they fail to sign Erling Haaland. The Manchester United forward is one of four options on Los Blancos’ short-list of backup candidates.

Marcus Rashford has been with Manchester United since joining their youth setup in 2005 as a seven-year-old, rebuffing interest from Everton and Liverpool in the process. After making swift progress through the ranks, the Englishman made his first-team breakthrough at Old Trafford midway through the 2015/16 season due to an injury crisis plaguing the senior side.

In the last half a dozen years, Rashford has come leaps and bounds but is enduring a difficult 2021/22 campaign, not helped by Manchester United’s struggles on the whole. The 24-year-old has just three goals and one assist in 13 appearances across all competitions. However, despite blowing hot and cold this term, Rashford remains a popular figure in the market, with Real Madrid keen on signing him.

Rashford is merely a backup option for Real Madrid right now, with Erling Haaland the priority signing. And while recent reports have claimed that Haaland prefers joining Real MadridLos Blancos must keep their options open, considering there is intense competition for the Norwegian.

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Keeping their options open is exactly what the Spanish giants seem to be doing, with a short-list of four candidates drawn up as “Plan B”. To that end, Victor Osimhen, Darwin Nunez and Jonathan David are on the radars of Real Madrid, who have also set their sights on Rashford as a possible cover for Haaland.

Unlike Haaland, the Manchester United forward can play as a wide-attacker, meaning he could co-exist with Karim Benzema if signed by Real Madrid next summer. And by the time Benzema calls it a day at the Santiago Bernabeu, Rashford could learn the ropes from the senior statesman to become his long-term successor.

For now, though, Rashford is only a contingency option in case the La Liga heavyweights fail to secure the services of Haaland. It remains to be seen if Real Madrid will be forced to turn their attention towards the Manchester United forward or succeed in signing their priority target.

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