Marcus Rashford "lacks the killer instinct" to lead Manchester United's attack, according to the Premier League's all-time record goalscorer Alan Shearer.

England international Rashford made it two goals in two games since returning to club action following the World Cup break with his strike against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old now has 10 goals in 21 games this season, double his tally from the whole of last season in 32 matches and twice as many as any United team-mate this term.

Rashford is on course for his best scoring campaign, but Shearer has urged Erik ten Hag to continue fielding the versatile attacker out wide and bring in a new out-and-out striker.

"I think Marcus enjoys it more, he looks better certainly in the position [on the left] we saw tonight," Newcastle United great Shearer told Amazon Prime.

"He's been given a little bit of freedom – if he wants to go down the middle at times, he can.

"But when he's got all that space to run into from out wide, he's a better player in doing that and he's very, very good at doing that.

"In terms of him being a centre-forward, he lacks the killer instinct, that natural ability to think 'yeah, I'm going to get in there, I'm going to get the two or three yarders'.

"But there's no doubting his ability – he's a fantastic player."

Rashford has five goals in 15 Premier League outings this term, which is already one more than last season and 12 off his career-best tally in the 2019-20 campaign.

Speaking after the 3-0 win over Forest, which moved United within a point of the top four with a game in hand, Rashford declared he is aiming to better his previous high.

However, fellow former striker and now pundit Michael Owen agrees with Shearer's assessment that United still need another new striker in the January window.

"I do feel that Rashford is better on the left, he will contribute a decent number of goals each year," Owen said.

"But he's not going to be the Ruud van Nistelrooy, the Robin van Persie, the Wayne Rooney who scores 30-plus goals a season.

"Obviously he is a huge asset to this football club, gives them something different, gives them pace, gives them directness."

United have scored 23 goals in 15 Premier League games this season at an average of 1.53 per match, which is only the 11th best return in the division.

Despite easing to victory against Forest, Ten Hag admitted after the match he was not entirely satisfied with his side's finishing and reiterated the need for a new striker.

"It's what I said in the dressing room, we have to score more goals," he said.

"We created so many chances and it takes us until just before the end to score the third goal. We need to finish this game in an earlier moment.

"We are looking for offensive players, we are looking for a striker. It would be good because we have games coming, so many, every third day, and it's tough."

Erik ten Hag was not entirely satisfied with Manchester United's finishing despite comfortably seeing off Nottingham Forest 3-0 at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

United returned to Premier League action following the World Cup and ultimately cruised to a straightforward victory that leaves them just a point behind fourth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand.

First-half goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial sent United on their way before Fred rounded things off in the final minutes.

But United wasted several decent opportunities before Fred's Casemiro-inspired goal, with Antony and Rashford spurning particularly good chances.

And that proved to be a key area of focus for Ten Hag after the game.

"It's what I said in the dressing room, we have to score more goals," he told Prime Video.

"We created so many chances and it takes us until just before the end to score the third goal. We need to finish this game in an earlier moment.

"Just after half-time we had two really good chances to finish the game. Life would be more easy.

"There are many games to come, [if you get a third goal then] you can then save energy and it is better for everyone, but also for the progress of the team, we need to be more clinical.

"We have players who can score.

"You can see Martial and Rashford are goalscorers; Bruno Fernandes scores goals. We have a lot of players who can score, but we have to be ruthless."

Ten Hag has already confirmed United are keen to bring in attacking reinforcements during the January transfer window following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.

PSV forward Cody Gakpo was widely considered the most likely to arrive but it emerged on Monday that the Netherlands international is close to joining Liverpool after the two clubs agreed a fee.

Ten Hag was asked about Liverpool's move for Gakpo, though he was unsurprisingly keen to avoid speaking about his compatriot.

"I don't talk about individual cases," he said.

"We are looking for offensive players, we are looking for a striker. It would be good because we have games coming, so many, every third day, and it's tough.

"You want to play in all the competitions we are in, we want to stay in them hopefully until the end of the season, so you need numbers in the squad to cover them all.

"I think we are always in the market, but it has to match the sporting criteria and the financial criteria, and we do what we can to bring in what we need."

While the Red Devils appear to have missed out on Gakpo, the August arrival of Casemiro proves United retain the ability to attract the best in the world.

The Brazil international was central to Tuesday's win, brilliantly winning the ball back near his own corner flag in the build-up to United's second goal before also inspiring Fred's clincher.

Those two incidents fitted into the wider narrative of his all-round brilliance in midfield as he recorded a joint-high three key passes, attempted more tackles than anyone else (five) and was engaged in the most duels (11).

For Ten Hag, Casemiro is a blessing.

"I can't deny that, I can only confirm," Ten Hag replied when Casemiro's importance was highlighted by a pundit. "It's a pleasure to work with him.

"I think everyone can see how important he is. The performance, the level he brings to the team is huge."

Marcus Rashford has his sights on a career-best goal haul this season after adding to his tally in Manchester United's Premier League win over Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.

Erik ten Hag's side returned to top-flight action in miserable conditions at Old Trafford, but exerted their control to run out comfortable winners in a 3-0 victory.

Rashford, who struggled across a tough 2021-22 campaign, picked up where he left off with his revitalised club form, netting his side's opener before assisting the second.

It takes him to 10 goals in 21 matches across all competitions for United this year, and the 25-year-old acknowledges he has a target in mind.

"Every forward always has a number that they want to try and reach," he told Amazon Prime Sport.

"For me, it's to score more than I've ever scored in a season. I think it's 22 or 23. I'm enjoying what I'm doing at the minute."

Rashford's prior best season with United was the 2019-20 campaign, when he scored 22 goals at club level, and the team reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, EFL Cup and Europa League.

After the frustrations of last term under Ralf Rangnick, Rashford has enjoyed his turnaround under Erik ten Hag, and spoke of the improved mood around the squad since the Dutchman took charge.

"We're winning more games and I think the level of play has been a lot higher," he added. "I'm happy with the way that we're developing at the minute, and hopefully we can keep kicking on.

"It's a completely different mindset to last season, a different team playing different football. We should be scoring plenty more goals in plenty more games."

Marcus Rashford was the inspiration as Manchester United beat Nottingham Forest 3-0 at Old Trafford on Tuesday in their first Premier League game since the World Cup break.

Rashford played a starring role in the EFL Cup defeat of Burnley last week and was again United's standout performer as they moved to within a point of fourth-placed Tottenham.

The England forward opened the scoring for a dominant United with a goal straight off the training ground before setting up Anthony Martial.

Forest had a goal wiped out just before the break, but it was not a precursor to United coming under greater scrutiny in the second period as they coasted before adding a late third through substitute Fred.

Erik ten Hag was forced to pick a somewhat unfamiliar backline due to illness, with Luke Shaw at centre-back.

But there was no sign of that inhibiting United, and they were deservedly ahead before long, with Rashford providing a wonderfully deft finish from Christian Eriksen's smart corner delivery.

Rashford was key again as United made it 2-0 three minutes later, latching on to Bruno Fernandes' clever pass and teeing up Martial to beat the unconvincing Wayne Hennessey at the end of a counter-attack that stemmed from Casemiro's brilliant recovery.

Willy Boly deflected Ryan Yates' header in on the stroke of half-time, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside.

United should have taken advantage of that let-off early in the second half when Antony spurned a glorious opportunity with only Hennessey to beat.

Rashford also wasted a good chance when scuffing substitute Donny van de Beek's cut-back, but United put the game beyond Forest late on as Casemiro won the ball back, surged into the final third and found Fred for an easy finish.

What does it mean? Red Devils looking free without Cristiano Ronaldo

The mid-World Cup announcement of Ronaldo's exit was generally greeted favourably by United fans, with the Portugal striker resembling a square peg in a round hole in the first part of the season.

While Burnley and Forest may not be the greatest of opponents, United have looked fluid and unshackled going forward with Ronaldo not there to hold them back.

They should have scored more than they did on Tuesday, but there was always a sense they could have cranked things up a notch if needed – that ultimately was not a necessity as they comfortably saw off a mediocre Forest side.

Casemiro shows his class

Rashford will dominate the headlines, but this was a masterclass from Casemiro. He played a crucial role in United's second when winning the ball back near his own corner flag; then he did similar and provided the assist for their third. He was imperious.

Antony a source of frustration

Although he has chipped in with a few goals, United fans are still waiting for Antony to really explode. That certainly did not occur here.

His decision-making was largely poor. He failed to tally a single key pass and wasted a tremendous chance in the second half before being withdrawn.

What's next?

United go to Wolves on Saturday, while Forest are home to Chelsea the following day.

Manchester United have triggered one-year extension clauses in the contracts of Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot and Fred, Erik ten Hag has confirmed.

With United three points adrift of the Premier League's top four with a game in hand ahead of the competition's resumption, each of the quartet has played a key role for Ten Hag's side.

In particular, Rashford has looked rejuvenated since the Dutchman took charge, leading the Red Devils' scoring charts with four Premier League goals this term and netting three times for England at the World Cup.

Rashford's deal had been due to expire at the end of the season, leading the forward to be linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain, but Ten Hag has confirmed the 25-year-old is set to stay.

Asked about widespread reports claiming United had extended the players' contracts, the United boss told MUTV: "Yes, I can confirm it.

"We are happy because the squad is going in the right direction and those players [have made] a massive contribution in that direction.

"We want to develop, we want to support those players and we want them to keep in our process, so that's why we came to those decisions, I'm sure they are the right decisions. 

"We want to construct a team for the future, for longer years, and those players have to be part of it."

United will resume their Premier League campaign against Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford on Tuesday, having won four of their last five home games in the competition (D1).

The Red Devils have won each of their last six games against Forest in all competitions, recording an 8-1 victory in the teams' most recent meeting in February 1999.

Marcus Rashford declared "there is no time to feel sorry for yourself" after scoring on his Manchester United return after World Cup heartbreak with England.

Christian Eriksen and Rashford were on target as United breezed to a 2-0 win over Vincent Kompany's Burnley to reach the EFL Cup quarter-finals at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Rashford scored three goals in Qatar before England were eliminated by France in the last eight after Harry Kane missed a late penalty in a 2-1 defeat.

The forward has been involved in 13 goals in 12 EFL Cup appearances, scoring nine and assisting four, and assured his focus remains on United and not on the disappointment in the Middle East.

"It is good to play again but it was a tough game and it was good to get a win to take into the next game," he told Sky Sports.

"[The World Cup loss affects you] more emotions-wise because it was such a disappointing feeling to be knocked out and you have to pick yourselves up.

"There is no time to feel sorry for yourself. You need to pick up results and thankfully we did that. It was fun to be out there."

The 25-year-old believes the EFL Cup can propel sides to success in the Premier League, with United sitting three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham – who have played a game more.

He added: "We are in every tournament to go on and try and win it. This one is a good one to win. 

"Winning this early in the season, in February, can push you on to go and achieve things for the rest of the campaign – we are going to try and do that."

United manager Erik ten Hag hailed the versatility of Rashford, who will be expected to play a vital role in the second half of the season after Cristiano Ronaldo's exit.

The Dutchman told Sky Sports: "He was a constant threat. Playing on the backline of them, he is so dangerous, with his movement with and without the ball, he creates so much and then you see the benefits."

Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez were both unavailable after Argentina defeated France to lift the World Cup on Sunday.

Ten Hag does not expect to have Martinez back for the time being as the celebrations in Argentina continue, while he refused to offer an update on the return of Jadon Sancho, who was not named among United's substitutes.

"In Argentina, I think they are still celebrating," he added. "We will see, the Premier League is going to restart and we have to be ready for that."

Ten Hag's side return to Premier League action at home to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.

Christian Eriksen and Marcus Rashford were on target as Manchester United eased into the EFL Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Burnley on Vincent Kompany's return to Old Trafford.

Manchester City great Kompany enjoyed numerous derby victories over United but his Red Devils reunion as Burnley manager ended in a fourth-round defeat on Wednesday.

Eriksen opened the scoring with a 27th-minute strike before Rashford doubled the advantage in the second half of United's first game since the World Cup.

Championship leaders Burnley impressed in parts but were punished for wasteful finishing as Erik Ten Hag's side booked their place in Thursday's last-eight draw.

Alejandro Garnacho squandered a glorious eighth-minute chance as Bailey Peacock-Farrell raced out to keep out a tame finish after Bruno Fernandes' incisive pass.

Fernandes provided another defence-splitting diagonal ball for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who acrobatically hooked across for Eriksen to tap home a deserved opener.

A curled Manuel Benson strike forced a smart save from Martin Dubravka, who almost turned into his own goal from the resulting corner, before Peacock-Farrell pushed away to deny Antony Martial at the other end.

Scott McTominay whipped a presentable opening over after the interval, but Rashford extended United's lead when his powerful run ended with a drilled finish into the bottom-left corner.

Darko Churlinov wastefully prodded wide on the counter-attack and Ashley Barnes blazed over as a profligate Burnley showing ensured there was no way back for the Clarets.

What does it mean? United back firing after World Cup

United ended the first half of the Premier League season positively to sit three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, who have played a game more, before the World Cup break.

Ten Hag's side picked up where they left off, albeit they were unconvincing at times in the first half, as United progressed from a sixth straight EFL Cup clash against Burnley.

United had lost three of four home ties in the competition before this victory, though Ten Hag will still demand improvements with tougher tests to follow when the Premier League returns.

Fernandes shines after Ronaldo departure

Questions were often posed as to Fernandes' influence alongside Portugal team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo at United before the latter had his contract terminated in November.

Playmaker Fernandes shone in his first game without Ronaldo as he created a game-leading three chances, including a pinpoint pass for Wan Bissaka's assist in the first half.

Deputy Dubravka unconvincing

David de Gea remains Ten Hag's first-choice goalkeeper and the Spain goalkeeper may have little concern over his position after an unconvincing performance from Dubravka.

The Slovakia international almost punched into his own net before a poor touch nearly gifted Burnley an equaliser and was caught out again in stoppage time, though those errors proved to be irrelevant.

What's next?

United return to Premier League action at home to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday, when Burnley host Birmingham City in the Championship.

Marcus Rashford is only second to Kylian Mbappe as the best player in the world right now, says Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag.

The forward has rediscovered his best form under the Dutchman this season, earning a recall to the England fold and featuring in their World Cup campaign.

Rashford and the rest of the Three Lions ultimately came up short in the quarter-finals against Mbappe and France on Saturday, in a close-fought Qatar 2022 encounter.

But his performances this term have got Ten Hag singing his praises, crediting him for his tactical intelligence and positional play.

"From the first moment, I recognised huge potential [in Marcus]," the former Ajax boss stated.

"When Marcus' positioning is on the back of the defending line, there is almost no better player in the world. It's really difficult to stop him.

"There is Mbappe [at] this moment [who is better than him]. When [Rashford] is getting in that position, he's great, and he's really improved."

Rashford has coincidentally been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain, where Mbappe penned a new contract ahead of the this campaign.

With a deal at Old Trafford that expires at the end of the season, the forward could be headed for the door, though Ten Hag says they will activate a one-year extension.

The manager acknowledges the final call on his future rests with the player, however, adding: "He has to make a decision.

"The only thing we can do is show him this is the best club to be in, in the way we play and the way we train and if we are offering the right environment to progress," he added.

"It's a financial issue as well. Then it is up to him to make the decision. But for one-and-a-half years, he will be here."

Marcus Rashford is free to negotiate with overseas teams from next month, with his Manchester United contract expiring at the end of this season.

The 25-year-old England international has had a couple of difficult seasons at Old Trafford but remains hot property.

United are eager to re-sign their forward, with Metro claiming they are looking to exercise an option in his contract to extend his stay.

TOP STORY – PSG TO LODGE LUCRATIVE RASHFORD DEAL

Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to offer Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford a bumper contract to lure him to the French capital, claims The Mirror.

The Parisians are readying a fresh bid which would make the 25-year-old one of the best-paid players on the planet, amid interest from Bayern Munich along with Real Betis.

PSG's package would be worth up to £850,000 (€990,000) a week for Rashford, who has been with United since he was a boy.

 

ROUND-UP

–  Juventus are interested in Chelsea's Mason Mount and would be willing to let three players go to fund any deal, reports Calciomercato. Adrien Rabiot, Leandro Paredes and Weston McKennie are among those named in the report.

– AS claims Arsenal have joined the pursuit of Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix , while the Mirror claims the Portuguese's agent is ready to speak with Aston Villa and Newcastle United about a deal. Manchester United and Chelsea have already held discussions.

– The Mirror claims Liverpool are in contention to sign Napoli's Mexican forward Hirving Lozano in January.

Bayern Munich are interested in signing RB Leipzig's Josip Gvardiol, but Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United have already lodged bids for him, claims Foot Mercato.

Jack Grealish tipped England to "make history" at future tournaments after their World Cup exit against France, as Marcus Rashford joined him in pledging the Three Lions would respond.

England suffered their seventh World Cup quarter-final elimination – a tournament record – on Saturday, as goals from Aurelien Tchouameni and Olivier Giroud maintained France's bid to retain the trophy.

Harry Kane scored one penalty and missed another as England experienced a familiar sinking feeling at Al Bayt Stadium, but Grealish believes Gareth Southgate's men will atone in the future.

The Manchester City playmaker was sorry it did not work out this time, having been convinced England were on course for trophy glory.

"Absolutely devastated to go out, words can't describe it as I really thought this was our year," Grealish wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

"I'm so proud to be part of this team and it's been a privilege to be with this group of players and staff for the past four weeks.

"We all have an unbelievable bond and we look forward to the future because we want to make history for all of you at home.

"Thank you to every England fan for your support during the past four weeks."

Rashford, who alongside Bukayo Saka was England's joint-highest scorer in Qatar with three goals, struck a similar tone to Grealish.

"The last few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions, each and every one of our team gave everything we had to be ready for what was thrown at us," Rashford said in a Tweet.

"We got close, but not close enough. I'll make a promise that we will come again! Thank you for the unconditional support."

Manager Southgate believes the identity of England's quarter-final opponents makes it difficult to say whether his team's campaign should be considered a success.

"Before any tournament, people are always asking what round you need to get to for it to be a success," Southgate said in a video on England's media channels.

"I've always said that's hard to define, because you can play a France and have the type of game we've had, and have a different reaction to getting to a final or a semi-final, as we've experienced.

"It's a difficult time for everybody in our country, and I think the players have represented them in the right way, we've played in the right way. I hope everybody's enjoyed the journey."

Lionel Messi will extend his contract with Paris Saint-Germain after the World Cup, according to president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

The Argentina superstar is out of contract at the end of the season and it has been reported during the tournament in Qatar that he had already agreed to terms to move to MLS, where he would join Inter Miami.

Those links have since been downplayed, however, with Messi not set to make a decision on his future until after the World Cup, where Argentina are preparing for a quarter-final showdown against the Netherlands.

Al-Khelaifi is optimistic his two-year spell at Parc des Princes will be extended as, when suggested by Sky Sports that Messi wants to stay in the French capital for longer, he said: "Definitely. He's very happy, you can see that with the national team.

"If a player's not happy you will see their performance is not good for the national team. He performed fantastic this season for us, he's scored a lot of goals and assists for the national team and for the club.

"So, what we agreed together – that after the World Cup, sit down together. But both sides – our side of the club and him – are very happy, so we will talk after the World Cup."

Another player who could be a topic of discussion for PSG after the conclusion of the action in Qatar is England forward Marcus Rashford, who has scored three goals for Gareth Southgate's side in the tournament.

Rashford's contract at Old Trafford is due to expire at the end of the season, though Manchester United have an option to extend for a further year, and Al-Khelaifi confirmed the French champions would look to revive their interest in such a scenario.

"He's another player that is really amazing. And for free? To have Rashford for free, every club would run after him, definitely," he added.

"We're not hiding it, we spoke before and [there was] interest. But the moment was not a good moment for both sides. Maybe, at the end of the season, why not?

"Today if he's a free agent of course we can talk to him directly, but we are not going to talk to him now. Let him focus on the World Cup. Then in January, hopefully, if we're interested we will talk to him."

Marcus Rashford "deserves everything that's happening now", according to Manchester United team-mate Hannibal Mejbri.

After a difficult 2021-22 campaign, Rashford started this season strongly, and has carried that form into the World Cup with England in Qatar, where he has hit three goals.

The 25-year-old scored just five times in 32 Premier League games last season for United, but already has eight goals in 19 appearances in 2022-23.

Hannibal – who is spending the season on loan at Championship club Birmingham City – had also been playing at the World Cup with Tunisia, who were eliminated in the group stage. 

Speaking to Stats Perform, the 19-year-old praised Rashford as a player and a person, with the United forward engaging in significant charitable work over recent years.

"I'm enormously happy because when I was at Manchester United, that's when he [had] a bit of a struggle, but he never let up," Hannibal said.

"He's a very good guy and he deserves everything that's happening now and he's worked tremendously hard for it, so I'm very happy for him."

Hannibal joined United from Monaco in 2019 for a fee of around £8million (€10m), and made two appearances for the first-team last season.

The midfielder described what it was like coming in to the Red Devils' academy when he first arrived, in particular the difficulty of doing so with a sizeable fee having been paid.

"It's very difficult when you come into a youth dressing room with a €10m price tag," he said. "You go into the dressing room, everyone judges you.

"But after a training session or two, you show your qualities and everyone accepts you. So that's how it is and that's football now, you have to put aside what people think of you, work, stay focused."

United head coach Erik ten Hag has made an impressive start to life at Old Trafford, and despite being out on loan, Hannibal confirmed the Dutchman has been keeping an eye on his progress.

"The staff, the technical staff always stay informed with us, the players on loan," he said. "So yes, if you do something bad, he tells you, if you do something good he congratulates you too. So yes, he stays in touch and it's a great pleasure."

Gareth Southgate has no concern about calling upon Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka to take a penalty in a shootout at the World Cup.

The pair were among a trio of players to miss from the spot in the European Championship final defeat to Italy last year, along with Jadon Sancho, who was not selected for the tournament in Qatar.

Rashford has been a fine performer for Southgate's side, scoring a trio of goals to sit joint-top of the scoring charts, while Saka netted a brace in the demolition of Iran in the opening group match.

Now into the knockout stage, with a round of 16 tie against Senegal on the horizon, the prospect of penalties continues to be a talking point – particularly regarding who could be called upon.

Asked if he had any reservations about either Rashford or Saka stepping up in a shootout, Southgate said: "None at all.

"Marcus' stats would be among the best in the world on penalty taking, and Bukayo is now taking them more regularly with his club. They're both in a good space with that."

In the World Cup in Russia, Southgate introduced players, including Rashford, off the bench in order to take penalties but was criticised for the same approach against Italy – with Rashford and Sancho both missing after their late introductions.

Southgate defended that tactic and hinted that similar moves could be made in the future, if required.

"In terms of the changes, Marcus came on as a sub in Moscow and took a penalty four or five minutes earlier than we put him on at Wembley," he added.

"I've seen lots of teams do that and scored, and it's the right thing. If you don't then it's wrong.

"We've got to stick with our processes, give ourselves the best percentages of winning, and we feel we are very well prepared.

"We've won two, we've lost the last one. We've refined some of those things we didn't think were quite right. We feel that the process is good."

Marcus Rashford can become one of the world's best players after carrying his Manchester United form onto the international stage at the World Cup, according to Harry Maguire.

Rashford lost his place in Gareth Southgate's England squad earlier this year after enduring a miserable 2021-22 campaign, making just 13 Premier League starts for United and scoring four goals.

However, Rashford has been rejuvenated since Erik ten Hag took charge at Old Trafford, finding the net eight times in all competitions this term to force his way into the Three Lions' squad.

Rashford scored twice on his first start at the World Cup as England thrashed Wales last time out, moving level with the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Alvaro Morata at the top of the tournament's goalscoring charts, and Maguire believes he has the talent to reach the very top of the game.

Asked about his England and United team-mate by talkSPORT, Maguire said: "I'm really pleased for Marcus.

"I don't think he'll ever reach what his talent can get to, because he's so talented that he could be one of the best in the world, and I think he's got to push and strive for that. 

"Over the last year or so it's just not been Marcus at Manchester United. We had a difficult year as a group and it affects people as individuals. 

"This year, he is playing with a lot more freedom and he's playing with a big smile on his face. We speak about him getting back to his best and I'm sure he will do."

Should Rashford score in England's last-16 tie against Senegal on Sunday, he will become the first United player to score four goals at a single major tournament for the Three Lions.

If he starts, the Red Devils attacker will fancy his chances of doing so against a Senegal side that has gone 10 World Cup games without a clean sheet, last recording a shutout at the tournament on their 2002 debut in a famous 1-0 win over France.

Real Madrid are long-term admirers of Bruno Fernandes, dating back to his time with Sporting CP.

The 28-year-old midfielder impressed with both goals in Portugal's 2-0 win over Uruguay at the World Cup on Monday.

Fernandes signed a new contract with Manchester United in April, keeping him at Old Trafford until 2026 with the option of a further year.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID CONSIDER JANUARY MOVE FOR FERNANDES

Spanish giants Real Madrid could try to tempt Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes to the club in January or at the end of the season, reports The Express.

Los Blancos' long-held interest in Fernandes has intensified amid his impressive displays at the World Cup.

Portuguese outlet Record claims that Madrid are scouting Fernandes while he plays for the national team.

The Express report says that the lure of Champions League football may tempt Fernandes should United miss the top four this season.

 

ROUND-UP

Cristiano Ronaldo is close to agreeing to a deal with Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr, according to Marca. The Telegraph had reported that the deal was worth £150million per season, although The Sun has claimed that the ex-Manchester United star still wants to play Champions League football and has not accepted the offer.

Gareth Bale's LAFC contract has a break clause that could see him leave the club prior to the new MLS season in February 2023, according to The Sun. The Mirror claims the Welshman will make a decision on his future by February.

– The Mirror claims that Manchester United are bullish about retaining Marcus Rashford's services, with the striker out of contract at the end of this season. United will exercise an option to extend his deal by another 12 months in January.

Manchester United have made Bayer Leverkusen defender Jeremie Frimpong their top transfer target in January, reports the Daily Mail. United have sent scouts to watch the Dutch defender, with a view to ramping up talks after the World Cup.

– Inter expect €30m for Tottenham-target Denzel Dumfries, according to Tuttosport. The Nerazzurri are willing to sell the Dutch right-back in January.

– The Times reports Brighton and Hove Albion's Scottish midfielder Billy Gilmour could join Spanish club Villarreal in January.

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