Barcelona ‘tried to sign Marcus Rashford in 2019 and met his brothers and agent THREE times’ – but the Man United star ‘got vertigo’ over the move before signing a new deal… as the LaLiga side prepare to face the forward in the Europa League
- Man United face Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Thursday in the Europa League
- Marcus Rashford heads there in superb form, having scored 21 times this season
- Barcelona tried to sign him in 2019, before Rashford chose to stay at Old Trafford
Barcelona reportedly tried to sign Marcus Rashford in 2019 before the Manchester United forward decided to extend his contract at Old Trafford.
The 25-year-old has been in sensational form this season and is revitalised under Erik ten Hag after struggling for form and fitness over the past few years.
Since the post-World Cup restart, the forward has netted 13 times in 15 games in all competitions and has helped drive the Red Devils to new heights.
Ten Hag’s side have risen to third in the Premier League, are in the Carabao Cup final, the fifth round of the FA Cup and face Barcelona in a crunch Europa League play-off round clash, with the first leg taking place at the Nou Camp on Thursday.
And, according to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Rashford could have been playing for Xavi’s side this week if an attempted move four years ago had gone through.
Marcus Rashford almost joined Barcelona in 2019 before deciding to stay at Man United
The Catalan giants were looking for a long-term replacement for experienced star Luis Suarez
Rashford pictured in action against Barcelona during a Champions League clash in 2019
The Catalan giants reportedly made several efforts to sign him between the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019.
Rashford was 21 at the time and was 18 months away from his contract ending at United in the summer of 2020.
Barcelona were keen to bring in someone who could succeed a 32-year-old Luis Suarez with the Uruguayan coming towards the end of his time at the club.
The report states they were searching for a versatile attacker who would not expect to start every week and one they could mould into the ‘Barcelona way’ of playing.
The club were also keen to target someone who had limited time remaining on their contract so they would not cost an excessive amount.
Harry Kane, Antoine Griezmann, Luke Jovic, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Rodrigo and Rashford were all options that were weighed up.
Barcelona’s General Manager at the time – Pep Segura – was reportedly then informed in 2018 that Rashford had doubts over whether to extend his stay with United.
Segura went on to enquire about Rashford’s potential interest in a move and he was enthused by the response from the Englishman’s agents who hinted they were keen to hear Barcelona’s proposal.
Conversations took place, with up to three meetings held at the beginning of 2019 between the club and Rashford’s brothers and agent.
Segura and Co. wanted to garner the potential interest in a move before putting the option to then-Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Rashford was seen by Barcelona as an attractive option in sporting and economic terms and there was said to be genuine interest there.
However, after the forward’s agents highlighted to Barcelona they would be keen on the move, Rashford got cold feet and started to question whether a transfer to Barcelona was the right decision.
He reportedly had doubts about whether – at the age of 21 – moving to to the Camp Nou and adapting to a different style of football and culture would be the best idea for his development.
There were also further question marks about the language barrier he would face in Spain, along with the challenges of entering a dressing room full of world stars such as Suarez and Lionel Messi.
In the end, Rashford decided he would be better served remaining at Old Trafford and this was helped by then-United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who enjoyed a positive relationship with the forward.
Rashford (pictured in 2019) was seen as an attractive sporting and financial option for the club
Rashford ultimately had doubts about the move and also had a positive relationship with then-United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and decided to stay at Old Trafford and sign a new deal
He has been revitalised under Erik ten Hag this year and has netted 21 goals in total this season
United also became aware of the interest and offered him a reported £248,000 per week contract on a four-year-deal with the option of a further year – which was activated last year.
Rashford ultimately accepted this contract offer in the summer of 2019 and will now head to the Nou Camp on Thursday aiming to bring down Barcelona’s Europa League hopes.
Such is his form at the moment that Xavi is set to play Ronald Araujo – who usually features at centre-back – as a makeshift right back to contain Rashford.
The Barcelona boss used the same tactical plan in recent El Clasico fixtures to effectively subdue Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr. and the tactical plan is testament to the form Rashford is in.
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