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When Manchester United begrudgingly accepted a then world-record £80 million bid from Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo, they ended a long-running transfer saga that had lasted more than two years.
During that time, the talented Portuguese has gone from being a promising forward to the best player in the world, winning the Ballon d’Or and the Champions League in the process.
During this time, Ronaldo won a full set of domestic and continental honours with the Reds, while he also matured to the point where he could easily command a place in Real’s first team. In short, the deal made sense, with all parties in a position to benefit going forward.
The Beginning of the End? Why Fans Are Concerned About Rashford’s Immediate Future
With this in mind, the recent rumours that Madrid are monitoring United starlet Marcus Rashford will have set hearts fluttering among Reds’ fan.
After all, Rashford has made a huge impression since making his full Manchester United debut in March, becoming an England international and one of the most coveted youngsters in Europe during this time.
He has also scored three goals in eight appearances under Jose Mourinho this season, including a crucial, injury time winner against Hull City at the KC Stadium.
Even the bookmakers have lowered their odds of Rashford leaving, triggering a media frenzy that shows no real sign of abating.
If there is one thing that you begin to understand when you learn how to bet on horses, however, it is that bookmakers are often wrong and can easily be swept away on a tide of hysteria.
This is just one of the reasons why reports of Rashford’s potential departure are most likely wide of the mark, but by no means is it the most compelling.
Why is Rashford to Madrid Unlikely to Happen?
Despite his incredible talent and rise to prominence, Rashford has endured something of a barren spell in recent times.
He has not scored in his last nine outings, for example, while he lacked sharpness during the 4-0 thrashing at Chelsea and the previous stalemate at Anfield.
This underlines the fact that Rashford remains a raw, developing talent, and one that is a long way from delivering on a consistent, weekly basis.
If Rashford were to join Los Blancos next summer, he would also be Real’s youngest squad member at just 19-years old.
Given these factors and the presence of world class forwards such as Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Álvaro Morata at the Bernabéu, the young Mancunian would struggle to achieve a first-team place and would most likely spend the majority of his time on the bench (or out of the match-day squad completely).
Above all else, Rashford appears to be an extremely mature individual, and one who wants to continue his development in a familiar environment.
To this end, he signed a long-term deal as recently as May with the Red Devils, the terms of which will keep him tied to a club that he describes ‘as the biggest in the world’ until 2020.
The Last Word
While contracts means little in the modern age, the recent deal offers an insight into Rashford’s mindset and his desire to simply keep progressing as a footballer.
At this early stage of his development, a move to Madrid could be extremely damaging and prevent him from performing week-in and week-out on the biggest stages.
For now, it appears that talk of a move to Madrid is extremely premature at best, particularly as he has already played a pivotal role in Mourinho’s plans so far this season.
At worst, the recent media speculation is entirely fabricated and a clear exercise in creating news rather than simply reporting it.
Written by Lewis Humphries
Follow Lewis on Twitter @LewisRHumphries
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