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Mikel Arteta 'speaks with Manchester United attacker over Arsenal switch'

Mikel Arteta 'speaks with Man United attacker over Arsenal switch'
© Reuters
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reportedly holds talks with Manchester United's Marcus Rashford to gauge his interest in a summer switch to the Emirates.

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has reportedly spoken to a struggling Manchester United attacker to gauge his interest in a summer switch to the Emirates.

A high-profile omission from the England provisional squad for Euro 2024, Marcus Rashford has fallen out of favour with Gareth Southgate on the back of a 2023-24 campaign that left a lot to be desired.

The 26-year-old was heavily linked with a departure from Old Trafford in 2022, having lost his way under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, but Erik ten Hag vetoed his exit and saw his decision vindicated.

A rejuvenated Rashford came up with 30 goals and 10 assists in 56 matches across all competitions last season - including 17 Premier League efforts - but he suffered another disappointing regression in 2023-24.

In addition to recording just eight goals and five assists in 43 games, the Englishman also landed himself in hot water with Ten Hag for reporting ill to training after visiting a Dublin nightclub, leading to his absence from an FA Cup tie with Newport County.

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring against Manchester City on March 3, 2024© Reuters

Arteta, Rashford 'in agreement over Arsenal move'

The pair quickly patched things up, and Rashford was a starter in Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup final success over Manchester City, but he came off in the 74th minute without directly contributing to either of his side's goals.

Nevertheless, the England international has four years left to run on his Old Trafford terms - having signed a long-running extension last summer - and a recent report stated that he has told Man United of his desire to stay at the club.

However, a conflicting claim from X account @AFCAMDEN claims that Arteta and Rashford have spoken about a possible move to Arsenal this summer, as the Spaniard is especially keen to have him in his ranks.

The interest is supposedly mutual, but a deal would hinge on Man United's willingness to do business with one of their biggest Premier League rivals, making a transfer relatively unlikely.

Paris Saint-Germain had previously been touted as a possible destination for the attacker as the French champions plan for life after Kylian Mbappe, but Les Parisiens have turned their attention to Napoli's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia instead.

Would Rashford fit in at Arsenal?

While there have been some inevitable transfer failures along the way, most Gooners have learned not to question Arteta's wisdom in the transfer market lest they be eating their words when the season is in full swing.

Kai Havertz was the Spaniard's latest successful revival project - even if it took a few months to reap the rewards of his unwavering loyalty to the German - so there is no reason why Arteta cannot get the best out of Rashford either.

However, a player of his profile is arguably the last thing that the Gunners need right now, as his best position is undeniably off the left, where Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli are already jostling for minutes.

A new centre-forward is a priority for Arsenal, and even though Rashford has been deployed as the attacking focal point at various points under Ten Hag, any Man United fan will be too happy to inform you about his struggles as a number nine.

Furthermore, a new right-winger, central midfielder and goalkeeper are also on Edu's shopping list for the summer, so from an outside view, pursuing a deal for Rashford - who would cost a pretty penny indeed and could use up a large chunk of the window if Man United play hardball - does not make an awful lot of sense.

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta pictured on May 19, 2024
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