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Man United, Marcus Rashford eye new deal despite dip in form - sources

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Nicol: Man United are just 'an average Premier League team' (1:28)

Shaka Hislop and Steve Nicol are not impressed by Manchester United's FA Cup victory over Aston Villa. (1:28)

Manchester United will prioritise a new contract for Marcus Rashford this summer, sources have told ESPN, despite concerns within the club over the forward's ongoing search for his best form.

The 24-year-old's present current at Old Trafford expires in June 2023, although United have the option of extending those terms by a further 12 months which, sources have said, they fully intend to do in order to secure the England international to the club until the end of the 2023-24 season.

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Having seen midfielders Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard both enter the final six months of their contracts at United this month and prepare to leave as free agents in the summer, the Old Trafford hierarchy are determined to avoid a similar situation arising with Rashford, who has become one of the club's most high-profile players since scoring twice on his debut as an 18-year-old against FC Midtjylland in Feb 2016.

Sources have told ESPN that United are confident that Rashford is prepared to commit his future to the club, but the player's loss of form is an issue that coaching staff and senior figures are determined to address.

United's interim manager Ralf Rangnick said after Rashford's unimpressive performance during Mondays FA Cup win against Aston Villa that he couldn't explain the forward's poor display and recent form, which has seen him score just three goals in all competitions this season.

Sources at United have said that Rashford spent much of last season playing through the pain of a long-standing shoulder injury, which forced him to undergo corrective surgery in Aug 2021.

Alongside that, there is a view at United that he has yet to fully recover from the surgery and been unable to build sufficient match fitness to rediscover his best form.

Sources have also said that United are keen for Rashford to spend a period of time focusing on regaining his fitness and form at the expense of off-field pursuits that have seen him earn widespread praise and recognition for raising the issue of child hunger, homelessness and poverty in the United Kingdom.

But with United preparing to embark on a period of change, with Richard Arnold replacing Ed Woodward as chief executive on Feb 1 and the club searching for a permanent manager to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, sources have said that the issue of negotiating a new contract with Rashford will not be sidetracked by other developments at the club.