'It is understood Rashford sees his long-term future at Old Trafford and, while there are a number of suitors on the continent, including Real Madrid, United view him as integral to their plans.' Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images
Marcus Rashford is in talks with Manchester United over a lucrative new contract as they move to secure the England striker's long-term future and ward off interest from Europe's elite clubs.
Rashford has been central to United's resurgence under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the caretaker manager, with six goals in his past 10 matches and a series of impressive performances underlining his status as one of Europe's most exciting talents.
United tied France forward Anthony Martial to a new five-year contract worth around £200,000 (€228,000) a week last Thursday and want Rashford to follow suit in the belief the pair could form the nucleus of a world-class attack for years to come.
Rashford is out of contract at the end of next season, but while United have an option to extend that by 12 months to June 2021, negotiations over a new deal are under way and the 21-year-old stands to see his wages more than double to more than £150,000 (€170,000) a week, with bonuses.
It is understood Rashford sees his long-term future at Old Trafford and, while there are a number of suitors on the continent, including Real Madrid, United view him as integral to their plans.
United also want to tie goalkeeper David de Gea, who is out of contract at the end of next season, to a new long-term deal, but there has yet to be a breakthrough in negotiations.
Solskjaer wasted no time moving Rashford to centre-forward when he replaced Jose Mourinho a week before Christmas after the player had mainly been accustomed to a role on the left side of the attack.
Rashford has relished working with Solskjaer, and vice versa, and the work the Norwegian and his coaches have done in training on the striker's finishing, positioning and movement is already bearing fruit.
Solskjaer believes Rashford and Martial, who have struck up a good understanding in tandem with Jesse Lingard and midfielder Paul Pogba, have huge potential, but talked last week about his desire for the pair to score "scruffy" goals.
Pogba's liberation under Solskjaer after the collapse of his relationship with Mourinho has been a significant factor behind Rashford's improvement and it was the France midfielder who set up Rashford for his goal against Leicester. Pogba has six goals and five assists in nine games under Solskjaer.
Yet Pogba wanted to quit United during Mourinho's final months in charge, a situation confirmed by the player's older brother, Mathias, a striker with French third division side Tours.
Asked if Pogba had been considering leaving Old Trafford because of Mourinho, Mathias Pogba told Telefoot: "Of course. It comes into your mind. He was under contract so he had to grit his teeth and keep working."
Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Ashley Young, who are all out of contract in the summer, have been offered new deals by United. Herrera, who is expected to stay, has been an unsung hero for Solskjaer.
Yet while the Spain midfielder believes it will be "impossible" for Solskjaer to remain unbeaten until the end of the season, he said a run of nine wins and one draw had given the team confidence they could beat Paris St-Germain, Liverpool and Chelsea this month.
"In the Premier League, it's impossible to go unbeaten from when the manager came in - to have 25 or 30 games unbeaten, but we're going the right way," Herrera said.
Asked if United could topple PSG in the Champions League as well as overcome Chelsea in the FA Cup and Liverpool in the league, Herrera said: "We can, but the best way to prepare for PSG is to try to win at Fulham (on Saturday)," he said.
"It will be a big mistake if we think further than Fulham. That's a massive game for us because Chelsea are playing City (the next day)." (©Daily Telegraph, London)