In the world of strange football rumours, this ranks right up there as one of the most startling and left-field murmurings this season – Marcus Rashford to be used as a makeweight for Manchester United’s signing of Ferderico Bernardeschi. It seems ridiculous. It just sounds ridiculous, United using their latest starlet from Carrington as part of a player exchange with Fiorentina.
For the sensationalists, nothing more needs to be said or written as they rack up a click count faster than a funny cat video on YouTube but that is only half the story.
Manchester United seem intent on doing some early summer business, regardless who might be leading The Red Devils into next season and the enigmatic and talented Bernadeschi seems to be high on their transfer agenda. Florence based newspaper La Nazione (and consequently picked up by The Daily Star for us folk in the United Kingdom) revealed that Manchester United have seen an offer rejected by La Viola in the region of £22million for the Italian international. Seemingly sensible business by United, identifying a lack of creativity out wide stifling their attacking play this season. What is all the more remarkable however is Fiorentina’s request in return.
Rashford star has risen at an incredible rate in the Premier League and seemingly, his performances have started to catch the eye of the first European suitors for the young Englishman with Fiorentina making the first vocal attempts to prize Rashford from United. Any deal for Bernadeschi must involve Rashford going the other way on a permanent deal. One can’t say that Fiorentina don’t lack a bit of gumption on the negotiation front.
With such a request, surely it will be putting to death for any future deal being able to be completed? Rashford, for all the hype and premature calls for the 18 year old to fire England to success in France, he has the makings of a very good striker. With Wayne Rooney’s undoubtedly starting to dwindle, Rashford appears to have a natural sense of space and timing inherent in the very best strikers. Rashford is the kind of player that United could build an attack around for years to come and if a relationship can truly start to emerge with Martial, United will begin to have a little of that incisiveness they have lacked at times this season.
Whilst selling Rashford would be both silly and just utterly ridiculous, identifying a player of Bernadeschi’s flair and pace is a clear statement of intent from Manchester United. Recently I wrote a piece about United’s interest in Renato Sanches and what is seemingly clear is that the powers the board at Manchester United have clearly identified the positions in need reinforcement. Not only though have they identified the positions, they have identified young targets that are both gifted and malleable to the United way or a new manager’s tactical shape. The policy of youth could see Manchester United start to lay the foundations for something great in the years to come; you just have to wonder why Carrington isn’t the cornerstone of this success? As Marcus Rashford proves, Manchester still produces great footballers.
Rich, The Sweeper Football Blog