Manchester United duo Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford will be available for selection if the green light is given for the Premier League season to resume next month.

The pair had been long-term absentees prior to the campaign being brought to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic in March, but both players returned to small group training last week.

Competitive action could restart in England's top flight in mid-to-late June and United boss Solskjaer revealed Pogba and Rashford came through their first few non-contact training sessions unscathed.

"They're looking good. They've joined training now and they've done everything the other boys have been doing. There's been no reaction so far, touch wood," Solskjaer told MUTV.

"When we get started, it looks like we can have a full squad to choose from."

United's players had spent the previous two months training alone, but Solskjaer has no complaints about their fitness and is hopeful he can take the next step to full-contact training.

"The players have been looking after themselves," he said. "They've done well. Charlie [Owen] the fitness coach, Kieran [McKenna], Michael [Carrick] and Martyn [Pert] have been on to them all the time. They've not had many days off!

"There have been video calls and of course the last couple of weeks they’ve been stepping it up.

"The boys have been fantastic, the weather's been good and they've enjoyed it.

"Hopefully now we've proved we can do this safely and we can move to the next step. It's been really enjoyable being on the training ground again.

"Everyone's looking sharp, everyone's been in with a good mood and we've been splitting up in groups so [working in] fours and fives together and they've really done well. 

"Hopefully, they can as I said, step up and go to bigger training groups but so far it's been good."

Marcus Rashford has revealed how Romelu Lukaku's selfless gesture enabled him to fire home the winning penalty in Manchester United's memorable Champions League turnaround at Paris Saint-Germain. 

Having lost the first leg of last season's last-16 tie 2-0 at Old Trafford, United made the trip to Paris with several first-team players missing through injury. 

Despite the odds being against the Red Devils, Lukaku's double – which was split by Juan Bernat's leveller – set the scene for a dramatic finale, during which Presnel Kimpembe was judged to have handled in the penalty area deep into second-half stoppage time. 

Lukaku, who has since moved to Inter, could have opted to take the spot-kick himself and try and complete his hat-trick.

Instead he offered the ball to Rashford, who duly smashed his effort home. 

Speaking to tennis star Andy Murray during a live video, Rashford explained: "The penalty was between me and Rom I think.  

"But you know Rom is one of those guys who if, well, in that particular game he'd scored two goals already, he could have taken it and got a hat-trick.  

"But he's the kind of guy that when you play in a strike partnership with him, he wants you both to do well and he just threw the ball to me and said you take it. 

"Which of course I was willing to let him take it because it's an opportunity for a hat-trick you know which is obviously a very good achievement. 

"But he just said he wanted me to take it so that was when you just sort of prepare yourself for the moment and just try and relax.  

"You know you think about the times that you've practiced, and you want your head to be focused." 

Rashford also opened up on how the attention he received off the pitch after bursting onto the scene as a teenager was initially a struggle. 

"I can't say I've ever really enjoyed the attention off the pitch," he added. "That's one thing growing up as a footballer that you never think about. 

"You always think about playing in the first team and scoring goals for United or at Old Trafford or any stadium. But you forget how your life can change overnight. 

"Things that you can do with your friends, things that you can do with your family, the places you can go, it all changes. 

"And I probably wasn't as prepared for that bit as I was the actual going on the pitch and playing. 

"For me that bit was the easier bit. It obviously took a lot of hard work to get there but when the opportunity came up I felt ready to step up." 

Rashford scored twice on debut against Midtjylland in a Europa League tie in February 2016 before marking his Premier League bow against Arsenal with another brace three days later. 

"I remember a couple of months before my debut I was on the bench and at that moment I didn't feel ready. I didn't feel like I belonged in the first team," said Rashford, who credited ex-boss Louis van Gaal for thrusting him into action at the right time. 

"You know that's why timing is so important. I wasn't ready to play that game so I think the manager knew what he was doing at the time. 

"Van Gaal is very experienced with young players and he wanted to wait for the right time. 

"When I made my debut it just felt natural, it just felt like I was playing with my normal team-mates."

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire labelled Marcus Rashford the most talented player he has ever played with.

Rashford, 22, was enjoying a fine season, scoring 19 goals in 31 games, before suffering a serious back injury in January.

The England forward has continued to improve and Maguire lauded his United team-mate's talent.

"I think as a club, you should have a captain and rely on him, but you need to spread the onus of the leadership in the group," the defender told UTD Podcast.

"Marcus is there and he battles through every game. Obviously he's had a bad injury but he's battling hard to get back. He very rarely misses games.

"He's always wanting to make himself available. I think you can see around the place, on and off the field as well, he's excellent with his charity work, which is great to see.

"On the pitch, like I said, he's amazed me. He's the most talented player I've ever played with."

Rashford, who also has 10 goals in 38 games for England, was enjoying his most prolific campaign for United, reaching double-digits in the Premier League for the second straight season.

While Maguire hailed his team-mate, he was wary of putting too much pressure on Rashford.

"I've always spoken so highly of Marcus when I have been with him in the England squad. I can't speak highly enough of him. I think he's going to go on to have an exceptional career," he said.

"I don't want to put too much pressure on him but I think he's going to be a wonderful player for Manchester United, as he is now.

"He's the best six-a-side player I've played with. Marcus is in my team and I know he'd be banging in goals left, right and centre."

Marcus Rashford can be one of the best attackers in the world, according to Manchester United team-mate Nemanja Matic.

England international Rashford has scored 19 goals and supplied five assists in 31 appearances for United this season, making it the most prolific campaign of his career.

The 22-year-old has not featured since the 1-0 FA Cup third-round replay win over Wolves in January, having sustained a double stress fracture in his back.

With the Premier League not expected to restart until mid-June due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rashford may be fit enough to help United push for Champions League qualification.

Asked to name United's best player by the Guardian, Matic said: "We have a lot of young players, but they have maybe not reached their top yet, but Marcus Rashford has the ability to be one of the best players in the world in his position.

"He's still improving, but he has everything to reach that top level."

The stoppage in global football came as United were enjoying an 11-game unbeaten run that saw them keep nine clean sheets.

Their upturn in form came shortly after the signing of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP in a deal potentially worth £67.6million (€80m).

Fernandes has been involved in seven goals (three scored, four assisted) in his nine appearances and Matic was not expecting the Portugal international to have such an immediate impact.

"Because I follow the Portuguese league, I knew he was good – even though he played for Sporting!" said former Benfica midfielder Matic.

"But I'm very surprised he adapted so quickly to the Premier League. He brings us a lot of qualities, like the confidence he has on the pitch – he always knows what he wants to do with the ball."

Matic is confident United are heading in the right direction under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

He said: "Ole is a great manager. I think he has improved a lot since he came to United, and he is different now. I'm sure he has a great future here, and he will win us trophies."

Marcus Rashford can reach the same level as Kylian Mbappe and go on to win the Ballon d'Or, according to former Manchester United team-mate Matteo Darmian.

Rashford has enjoyed his most productive season in terms of goals in 2019-20, scoring 19 in all competitions for the Red Devils despite being sidelined since January due to a back injury.

The England international burst onto the scene early in 2016 under Louis van Gaal, finding the net twice on both his Europa League and Premier League debuts after coming through the club's academy system.

Darmian, however, is not surprised at the 22-year-old's continued development since then, having seen at close quarters just how good the forward is.

"I still remember Marcus Rashford's first session with the senior squad like it was yesterday. I immediately thought, 'wow, this is an incredible player'," he told the Guardian.

"He did so many impressive things for a player of his age and the way he improved in every detail really impressed me."

The Italian defender, who returned to his homeland last September by signing for Parma, feels the England international can still get even better, too.

Darmian feels Rashford has the potential to match Paris Saint-Germain superstar Mbappe, the pair perhaps competing for individual honours for many years to come.

"If he [Rashford] continues to work the way he has done so far he can be a Ballon d'Or winner. I'm convinced of this," he said.

"He impressed me the most of all the players at United and he's very young and can still improve. For me, he can reach the level of Kylian Mbappe and compete for the Ballon d’Or for years to come."

The full-back worked under Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho during his time at Old Trafford, as well as current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

"I can only speak well about Solskjaer, believe me," Darmian said of the Norwegian. "I would give him a long-term contract.

"He's a very prepared coach and Manchester United has started this project, this journey, with many young players, many British players and they will continue with this project.

"Because of the person I got to know, I hope Solskjaer has success at the club."

Marcus Rashford has urged the stars of tomorrow to "pick up your ball and get out in the garden" after the academy season in England was called off due to coronavirus.

Youth leagues were ended on Friday, with the United Kingdom still in lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the Premier League and English Football League still hope to restart the season, academy teams must now look to 2020-21 rather than attempt to complete their campaigns.

England striker Rashford, a graduate of Manchester United's academy, expressed sympathy for the young players who have had their seasons cut short.

But he insisted this must not be a time in which they fall out of love with football.

"The news you got yesterday was probably not what you wanted to hear," Rashford tweeted on Saturday.

"I know all you want to do is play because I'm the same but the decision has been made to protect everyone involved. This is bigger than football.

"You might be feeling a bit low but the best thing you can do is pick up your ball and get out in the garden.

"When I was in the academy I used to find a spot in the garden and aim for targets just so I could practice my accuracy, get creative!

"Now is not the time to fall out of love with the game, it's a time to remember why you fell in love with it in the first place. You've got this and we can't wait to see you all back next season!"

Marcus Rashford believes the "tough period" he endured under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United has made him a better player.

England striker Rashford played under Mourinho from the beginning of the 2016-17 season until the Portuguese's sacking in December 2018.

Rashford won an EFL Cup and Europa League in that time but often found his form under scrutiny, while he was largely employed on the wing with Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Romelu Lukaku playing centrally.

Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Rashford has flourished and he has scored 19 goals in all competitions this season – a career best – before a combination of a back injury and the suspension of the Premier League due to the coronavirus pandemic curtailed his progress.

Despite perhaps not always playing at his best during Mourinho's tenure, Rashford is convinced it is a time that will stand him in good stead.

"It was tough but I think when you look back on it in five or six years, they're the moments that give you that mental toughness," Rashford told the UTD Podcast.

"As an all-round player I've improved a lot and a lot of it is down to those two years under Jose.

"We had ups and downs. When I look back at it, it was a tough period but definitely a period that made me a better player."

Rashford also hailed the impact Ibrahimovic, who is now back at Milan having enjoyed a stint in MLS with LA Galaxy after leaving United, has had on his career.

"His mentality was beyond anything I'd ever played with before," he added. "He didn't care what anyone would say to him or what anyone was saying about him.

"In terms of his mentality he was key to my development, especially when Jose was there because he was someone who had played under him before and he knew you had to be a certain type of way to survive under him."

Marcus Rashford admits it "would have been a dream" to play with Paul Scholes at Manchester United.

Forward Rashford revealed his admiration for the club legend - who retired in May 2013 - when the duo appeared together on an episode of United's official podcast.

Scholes played in 718 games for the Red Devils after coming through the club's academy system, transforming from goalscoring midfielder to deep-lying playmaker in the final stages of his outstanding career.

His passing abilities would be ideal these days to pick out the runs of Rashford, who had scored 19 goals in all competitions this season before suffering a back injury.

"It would have been a dream to play with someone like that," Rashford said during UTD Podcast. "The biggest thing for me is range of passing.

"Probably the closest thing to that was when Wazza [Wayne Rooney] was playing a bit deeper and it was just so enjoyable to play as a number nine in those games when he was in that position. Similar with Carra [Michael Carrick] as well.

"As soon as they get the ball they look forward and want to play forward, not only to feet but in behind a lot of the time. As a forward that's all you want.

"As long as someone is seeing the passes and trying to make them, that's what you thrive on."

Scholes was well aware of Rashford's talents before he burst into the first team by scoring two goals on his debut in the Europa League in February 2016.

However, the former England international revealed he has been surprised by one development in the frontman's career.

"I always remember seeing him as a kid and I thought his intelligence and movement was as a centre-forward," Scholes said.

"He looked like an out-and-out number nine, but now when you see him in games, he seems to enjoy it more from the left-hand side."

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has reserved two match tickets for an NHS worker as a thank-you for his efforts during the coronavirus crisis.

Twitter user Josh Howes tweeted the England international with a message to enquire over his recovery from a back injury.

The post showed Howes and his wife working at a hospital wearing personal protective equipment.

"I miss football!!!! @MarcusRashford how's the recovery going???" the tweet read.

"Wishing you well man. Literally can't wait to see you rip it up again!

"Me and the wife can get some tickets for O.T [Old Trafford] and we can stop having to wear this nonsense for 13 hours a day! #NHSCovidHeroes #NHSworkers."

Rashford was only too happy to make this wish come true.

"I've got two tickets reserved for you mate," he replied. "Looking forward to celebrating the real superstars around here.

"I'll be in touch when we are back up and running. Thank you for everything you're doing man."

Howes thanked Rashford before joking he should get in touch with Gary Neville to ask for a place to stay at the former United favourite's hotel.

Rashford's charitable efforts have been notable during the Premier League shutdown, with his online promotion helping to drive donations that allowed anti-hunger and food waste charity FareShare to reach almost one million children across the United Kingdom last week.

Jadon Sancho got the better of England team-mate Marcus Rashford in the first round of the team's #FootballsStayingHome Cup on FIFA 20 on Friday.

Sancho prevailed 2-1 despite initially trailing to a goal created by the in-game version of the Borussia Dortmund winger, his cross finding Rashford, controlled by Rashford.

"Oh, Jadon Sancho to Marcus Rashford! Sanch is under pressure right now," Rashford laughed on camera. "Oh my lord, I know you're sweating."

However, Sancho equalised through Rashford himself and then netted a winner with Raheem Sterling.

"I threw the game away, man," Rashford moaned, before adding: "You know what? I'm going to play you again. I'm going to go back to the drawing board and play you later."

Sixteen players across England's senior men's and women's teams and the Under-21s are involved in a tournament designed to raise awareness for staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

In the competition - which also highlighted the National Emergencies Trust, a collection of community foundations that distributes money to charities - Tammy Abraham, James Maddison, Todd Cantwell and Lucy Bronze were among the others to also advance to the quarter-finals.

Abraham was helped by a hat-trick from Rashford as he defeated Chelsea colleague Callum Hudson-Odoi 5-2.

Meanwhile, Maddison scored as himself in a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Callum Wilson that was sealed with a winner from Harry Kane.

"Look who it is! The dangerman," Maddison cried after finding the net with his computerised self.

Cantwell won the battle of the midfielders against Mason Mount, with substitute Rashford scoring a hat-trick in a 5-0 win after the Norwich City man brought him off the bench.

Mount had threatened to quit if Cantwell scored with the virtual version of the Chelsea midfielder, though he vowed to retire from the game after the drubbing.

"Go and win this and I won't feel bad," he told Cantwell.

Cantwell's club team-mate Max Aarons had his own hat-trick hero as Maddison grabbed all the goals in the 3-1 victory over Trent Alexander-Arnold's England.

Elsewhere, Ryan Sessegnon won 3-1 against Reiss Nelson, who was in disbelief that it was only a one-game series, while a golden goal earned Bronze a victory over Ellie Roebuck.

Bronze is the only female representative in the last eight after Eddie Nketiah saw off fellow Arsenal star Jordan Nobbs, setting up a meeting with Sancho.

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Trent Alexander-Arnold will be among the England players competing in a FIFA 20 tournament designed to raise awareness of the fight against coronavirus.

The Football Association has announced 16 players across England's senior men and women's teams, and the Under-21 squad, will take part in a competition that begins next week.

As well as underlining the importance of the United Kingdom government's advice for citizens to stay at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, the tournament will also highlight the National Emergencies Trust, a collection of community foundations that distributes money to charities.

Chelsea trio Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham will also compete in the tournament, along with fellow England players Callum Wilson and James Maddison.

Lucy Bronze, Jordan Nobbs and Ellie Roebuck - all part of Phil Neville's women's squad - will also be involved, as will Under-21 internationals Reiss Nelson, Todd Cantwell, Max Aarons, Eddie Nketiah and Ryan Sessegnon.

The opening round of the tournament begins on Friday, April 10.

Marcus Rashford has been cleared to step up his recovery from a back injury following positive scans on the problem, Manchester United have confirmed.

England star Rashford has not featured for United since sustaining a double stress fracture in the FA Cup third-round replay win over Wolves on January 15.

There were fears the 22-year-old, United's top scorer this season with 22 goals, could miss the remainder of the season and Euro 2020, which has since been postponed until next year.

With football almost entirely on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rashford could well have the opportunity to return to action if and when the 2019-20 season is resumed.

United said on Monday: "The club can confirm that Marcus Rashford has been cleared to step up his rehabilitation programme following encouraging signs on his latest scans. His progress will continue to be monitored by the club's medical team throughout the current lockdown period.

"Rashford had been working hard on his rehabilitation with medical staff at the Aon Training Complex, before the coronavirus pandemic forced all of the Reds to work individually at home."

Speaking to Sky Sports last week, Rashford said he was feeling "10 times better" as he worked towards a full recovery.

"For me, now it's just about getting ready to build back up to training and then playing games for the team," he said.

"I'm in a much better place. I'm much happier than I was about a month ago, so things are looking positive."

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford is in a "much better place" than a month ago as he nears a return to full fitness.

Rashford has been out since mid-January due to a back injury, with United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saying earlier this month the club would not rush his comeback.

The England international is making good progress, though, and suggests he will be ready to resume training once the squad are cleared to go back to work after the coronavirus pandemic.

"I feel much better," Rashford told Sky Sports News. "I have a scan in another couple of days and that should solidify it, but I feel much better compared to two or three weeks ago.

"I feel 10 times better now. For me, now it's just about getting ready to build back up to training and then playing games for the team.

"I'm in a much better place. I'm much happier than I was about a month ago, so things are looking positive."

Rashford says his recent rehabilitation has been carried out at home due to the restrictions put in place to control the impact of COVID-19.

"Everyone is just dealing with the circumstances as well as they can," he added.

"I've just been in my house doing my gym work and recovery, reading books, watching Netflix and just doing what I can do to make the time pass further.

"There's not really anything you can do that comes close to being in the changing room and being in the team, so I'm not trying to chase that high.

"I had to have time off anyway because of my injury, but I'm fortunate enough to have a bike in the gym downstairs. Not much in that sense has actually changed for me because I can still do my daily routine that I was doing."

Rashford is also heading up a campaign for the FareShare charity, which aims to raise £100,000 to help supply food to children who usually have free school meals but are currently unable to access them.

"I didn't know how high the numbers were of kids not eating at home other than school meals. That number kind of shocked me," Rashford said.

"And then I remember speaking to a friend who was saying there was an opportunity where we can help these people and FareShare allowed us to make it work.

"I don't think I've actually ever done something at such short notice before. I thought let's try and get to £100,000 and right now we're on £97,000."

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he will not rush Marcus Rashford back from injury.

Rashford has been out since mid-January due to a back injury and there has been some confusion over how long he will be absent.

Initially it was thought Rashford could return in March, then it was suggested he may miss the remainder of the season and Euro 2020.

Further scans at the end of February were "quite positive", leading to new reports claiming Rashford might return for the closing stages of the Premier League season, undoubtedly providing United a major boost if they are still fighting for Champions League qualification.

Solskjaer is erring on the side of caution, however, and is adamant United will not throw him back into first-team football too soon.

"As [with] any player, he wants to be fit as quickly as possible and play as soon as possible," Solskjaer told MUTV.

"If that means playing in April, if he'll be fit for us towards the end of the season, fantastic. If it takes longer, it takes longer.

"We just have to be sensible with it because we're going to have Marcus playing here for many, many years.

"The scans were encouraging. He's now working in the gym and in the pool, and he's moving around better. He's in and around the place.

"It's like how long is a piece of rope [in terms of a return date]? It's difficult."

Marcus Rashford insists winning trophies with Manchester United is what counts as he admitted last season's stunning comeback at Paris Saint-Germain meant nothing as they failed to win the Champions League.

Rashford's injury-time penalty secured a 3-1 victory at Parc des Princes as United, shorn of several first-team players, became the first side in the competition's history to overturn a deficit of 2-0 or greater from a first leg at home as they progressed on away goals.

Despite the celebrations after that last-16 triumph, United were dispatched 4-0 across two legs by Barcelona in the quarter-finals as their 2018-19 season fizzled out to leave them without silverware or a Champions League return.

Rashford admits such victories ultimately matter little if there is no trophy to follow.

"We didn't go on to win the competition or reach the final," he told FourFourTwo. "So, in my mind, it doesn't stand for anything.

"We need to start showing signs that we can be the United of old. Football has changed a lot, so it's not going to be exactly the same, but we know the club can do it. It's been difficult, but it's a period of transition. As long as we stay focused, I don't see why we can't turn things around and really improve."

Rashford had been in fine form for United during manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's season of rebuilding until a serious back injury, which is likely to keep him out for several more weeks, brought his campaign to a halt.

The FA Cup and Europa League represent the Red Devils' best chances of lifting a trophy in 2019-20, with Liverpool running away in the Premier League title race and Manchester City having claimed the EFL Cup.

Rashford is desperate to end a three-year wait for a title of any kind, even if his longer-term ambitions are a little higher than domestic cups.

Asked about his hopes, he said: "To win the World Cup, and for Man United to win the Champions League.

"As long as the team is successful and we get back to winning titles and trophies, that's the main thing for me."

Aside from prizes, Rashford also plans to go down in history as one of the great players to represent United from academy to senior side.

"That's always the aim," he said. "You grow up around so many people who have that United legend status that it becomes part of your dream.

"When you dream of playing for Man United, you don't only dream of making your debut; you dream of being like [David] Beckham, [Paul] Scholes and [Ryan] Giggs. It's part of the dream as an academy lad."

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