MANCHESTER UNITED are ready to open talks with Marcus Rashford over a new contract after his sparkling start to the new season.
Rashford has scored three goals in the last four games, including what proved to be the winner against Liverpool and a double in the impressive 3-1 victory over league leaders Arsenal on Sunday.
It was a signal that the 24-year-old is getting back to his best again under new boss Erik ten Hag.
He has just this season left on his current deal although the club have an option to extend that for a further year.
But United are eager to tie him down to a new five-year contract to erase any doubts about his future.
Ten Hag was unequivocal when asked if he wants to keep him at Old Trafford long term.
He said: “Definitely. United control the situation.”
Interim boss Ralf Rangnick was always frustrated that Rashford could not transfer his performances in training onto the pitch come match day.
But Rashford like a lot of the players was not happy last season and that has changed.
Ten Hag said: “I see a happy Marcus Rashford, I see some phases in his game we could improve and we worked really hard the last two and a half months with him on different aspects and he really likes it.
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“He wants to transfer it to the pitch. It starts with happiness, he comes in every day smiling.”
Rashford was thinking about a move away from Old Trafford for the first time during last season.
His representatives even had a meeting with PSG officials last month.
Rashford had fallen out of the England reckoning with the team and wondered whether a move would revive his career.
He scored just five goals last season and non since notching the only goal of the game in the 90th minute against West Ham last January.
Ten Hag however was convinced he could get him back to his best.
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In a team meeting following the 4-0 humiliation against Brentford, Rashford also challenged the boss to give him the run at number nine he had apparently promised him.
Ten Hag has done just that ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.
United take on Real Sociedad in the Europa League tomorrow night and that could see Ronaldo returning to the side as Ten Hag rotates his players.
Ronaldo has not started since the defeat to Brentford.
The match will give Ten Hag the chance to give new £70million buy Casemiro a start to after being kept out the side by Scott McTominay.
It shows the strength in depth Ten Hag now has after bringing in six new players in the summer.
He said: “For players not in the team they can at any moment come in, do the job and maybe do better than the ones who are in.
“But you need more than 11 players to become successful. We have really good players and when they come on they contribute to the success we have.”