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Rashford has part to play at Manchester United, says Ten Hag as boss offers Ronaldo update

By Andrew Steel

Manchester, August 12: Marcus Rashford is "really important" to Manchester United and the forward is very much in their plans amid reported transfer interest from Paris Saint-Germain, says Erik ten Hag.

The 24-year-old struggled during a tepid 2021-22 campaign at Old Trafford, losing his place in the England set-up and mustering just four goals in 25 league appearances.

Reports have since emerged that he could make a fresh start across the English Channel with Ligue 1 heavyweights PSG.

But speaking ahead of a trip to Brentford this weekend, Ten Hag insists he regards Rashford as a key member of his squad this term.

"He is really important," Ten Hag said. "You have seen from the first day I am here [that] I am really happy with him.

"I do not want to lose him. He is definitely in our plans at Manchester United."

Ten Hag also addressed Cristiano Ronaldo's involvement after the Portugal star was benched for their opening weekend loss to Brighton and Hove Albion.

The veteran forward missed much of pre-season amid reports he is seeking an exit to find Champions League football, though a lack of credible suitors may well have put the brakes on a move.

"He has had a good training week," the Dutchman added. "He has had two half games now. We will see tomorrow."

Defeat to Brighton represented a major blow to hopes Ten Hag will re-establish United as genuine contenders for the top four this term, but the former Ajax man is unworried by a slow start from his side.

"After every game, I analyse what went wrong and where we can improve, where we have to improve, and how we have to train," he added.

"We tell and show the players this too, to give them the solutions. We learnt a lot [from the first game] but it is normal when you start a season, every season in that part is the same.

"You have a new start, you make mistakes. Football is a game of mistakes, so we know we have to improve in many factors."

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Story first published: Friday, August 12, 2022, 19:00 [IST]
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