Marcus Rashford a doubt for Manchester United’s crunch Bournemouth clash, Erik ten Hag confirms, Phil Jones to leave


Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has revealed that Marcus Rashford is a doubt for Saturday’s match at Bournemouth.

United are under pressure from Liverpool, who are a point behind them in fifth place in the league table, and need a win to move level on points with Newcastle above them in third.

A failure to win could see them put their hopes of Champions League football for next season in jeopardy.

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With three games remaining, there is little room for error, and the Dutchman told reporters on Friday that this season’s top scorer, Rashford, could miss out through illness.

Ten Hag said: “Rashy trained well the whole week but today he reported he is ill. We have to see how he recovers during the day and see tomorrow.”

Goalscoring responsibilities have largely fallen upon Rashford after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo at the end of last year, with Wout Weghorst scoring just twice in 28 appearances, and Antony Martial not reliably fit.

Ten Hag also confirmed that Scott McTominay is likely fit to be involved, as is Raphael Varane.

Another attacking option is Marcel Sabitzer, who does not play as an out-and-out striker, and Ten Hag refused to confirm or deny plans to sign the Austria international on a permanent basis from Bayern Munich.

He clarified: “We will see but it’s not our main focus, the main focus is Bournemouth.”

Sabitzer has been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to injury.

One player who will not feature is Phil Jones, who confirmed he would be leaving the club at the end of the season, after playing just five times for The Red Devils since January 2020.

In an open letter to fans, he said: “I wish I could have played more. I wish I could have given more to the many squads I played amongst. I will say, from the bottom of my heart, I did everything I could. I did everything the medical team asked of me.

“I never left a stone unturned in the pursuit of living my dream and having the opportunity to represent Manchester United on the pitch. I spent some difficult days away from my family, rehabilitating and recovering away from everyone, recuperating away from the training pitch, which I was desperate to get back to.

“I’ve said before that I found it hard to even speak to my team-mates because I was hurt that I couldn’t help them. I was hurt that my family couldn’t see me on matchdays, and you feel like you’re letting people down.

“Sometimes, in life, things happen that we don’t like, but we have to learn to accept it and be at peace in our minds that we did everything we could to overcome the challenges. In your career, and life, that’s all we can really do.”

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