Man Utd could sign perfect Marcus Rashford replacement after 'Sir Jim Ratcliffe meeting'

Man Utd ace Marcus Rashford signed a new contract last summer but has been tipped to leave the club (Image: GETTY)

Manchester United will be searching for fresh talent across the pitch at the end of the campaign following an underwhelming season at Old Trafford. And new minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe could be eyeing up a Marcus Rashford replacement in the shape of AC Milan winger Rafael Leao after reportedly meeting with the Portugal winger’s super-agent Jorge Mendes.

Rashford committed his long-term future to United last summer after penning a new contract in the aftermath of an incredible season that saw him bag 30 goals and 10 assists in all competitions. But his form has fallen off a cliff this campaign and he has struggled to have anywhere near the same impact in the final third, registering just 13 goal contributions.

Rashford is said to be in the shop window at Old Trafford as Ratcliffe attempts to put together a team that can battle for Premier League and Champions League success. And the 71-year-old businessman appears to be wasting no time finding players who can turn the club’s fortunes around.

Ratcliffe has enlisted the help of Mendes, who represents the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Bernardo Silva and Darwin Nunez. And one of the agent’s clients who could well possess the qualities the INEOS boss is looking for is Leao.

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Manchester United could attempt to prise Rafael Leao away from AC Milan this summer (Image: GETTY)

Leao joined Milan from Lille in the summer of 2019 after progressing through the Sporting academy in his homeland. The 24-year-old has made a huge impression in Italy, netting 56 goals and contributing 49 assists during 205 appearances for the San Siro giants.

The talented winger was on the 25-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or in 2022 and also bagged two goals at the World Cup in Qatar at the end of the same year as his country were knocked out in the quarter-finals.

Leao has bags of pace and is one of the best dribblers in European football. He tantalises opponents and often glides past them before bursting into the penalty area in the hope of carving out goalscoring chances. His end product has improved in recent seasons and he has become a huge threat in front of goal.

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In the last two campaigns before this one, Leao hit double figures for goals and assists in Serie A and could yet do the same this time around having racked up seven goals and nine assists ahead of his side’s final four encounters.

Leao won the Serie A title in 2022 and has big-game experience in the Champions League and the Europa League. And as he enters his prime in the next couple of years, he could well be the exact player United need to unlock defences, lay on chances and get the team scoring a hatful of goals again. The player could set United back around £100million – but if he makes the difference around the penalty area, it will be money well spent for Ratcliffe.