Why Gary Lineker factor can help Man Utd in Marcus Rashford to Barcelona saga

Why Gary Lineker factor can help Man Utd in Marcus Rashford to Barcelona saga

United are facing up to a big transfer window with Ed Woodward desperate to bankroll whoever he picks to become the club’s full-time manager.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks primed for that seat – after a brilliant start to life as interim manager, which included a monumental comeback win over Paris St-Germain in the Champions League.

One problem for the Norwegian, though, has been the contract situations of a number of players.

Ander Herrera, David de Gea and Rashford have all been locked in negotiations with the Red Devils for months but there has been little progress made – which could lead to serious ramifications.

As per the case of Rashford, it has led to some big clubs across Europe taking an interest in him.

One has been Barcelona, with Mundo Deportivo reporting that the Englishman is being eyed as a long-term replacement to Luis Suarez.

A defining factor in their decision has been his versatility, with his ability to play on the wing working well in their system that accommodates Lionel Messi.

The United ace is not the only striker on their shortlist, with Antoine Griezmann and Luka Jovic also in their sights.

But Rashford has the age advantage over those stars, being just 21 – but Barca know he will come at a price.

However, Mundo Deportivo also report that Lineker is factoring into the decision – with Los Cules having various success with British imports.

The Match of the Day presenter joined the Nou Camp outfit in 1986 and went on to have a fine debut season, scoring a hat-trick in his first El Clasico.

But injury problems and a change in style saw the Leicester-born hitman carted out, with Johann Cruyff only affording him limited first-team appearances.

Barca have toiled with the idea of using English players ever since, with Marcus McGuane the only man from this country to play for them after Lineker.

United are not pressed into making a decision over Rashford, though, who will see his contract expire in 2020.

There is an option to extend that deal by a year – but the lack of progress over talks is concerning.

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