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regular-article-logo Monday, 02 October 2023

Marcus Rashford's return from a two-game absence boosts Manchester United

25-year-old England international, who is United’s top goalscorer this season with 29 goals in all competitions, missed their last two wins against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bournemouth

Reuters Manchester Published 25.05.23, 05:43 AM
In this Twitter picture shared by Manchester United, Anthony Martial (left) and Bruno Fernandes look relaxed before a training session

In this Twitter picture shared by Manchester United, Anthony Martial (left) and Bruno Fernandes look relaxed before a training session

Forward Marcus Rashford could return from a two-game absence when Manchester United host Chelsea, manager Erik ten Hag said on Wednesday as the Premier League club look to secure their place in the Champions League next season.

The 25-year-old England international, who is United’s top goalscorer this season with 29 goals in all competitions, missed their last two wins against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bournemouth, first with a leg injury and then an illness.

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“It looks like he will be available,” Ten Hag told reporters ahead of Thursday’s home game against 12th placed Chelsea.

“Yesterday (Tuesday) he returned to training. He looks fit but we have to see what is the outcome of the training, how did he recover, and then we will make our choices.”

The Dutchman, who ended United’s six-year trophy drought when they won the League Cup in February, said his team are on the right path but acknowledged that they are a work in progress.

After missing Champions League football last season, United are on track to secure a top-four spot in this campaign — they need a point from their final two matches against Chelsea and 10th placed Fulham.

United are fourth in the standings with 69 points, three more than fifth-placed Liverpool, who have played a game more. “We are in a project and we want to go back and win trophies,” Ten Hag said.

“We win one trophy, but we want to win more trophies. We want to compete with the best, but we are still on a journey. But we think we are in the right direction. But we can always be better because good is not good enough.

“We want to compete with the best and then you have to be in the Champions League. So (it is) simple.”

Southampton decision

Southampton interim coach Ruben Selles will not have his contract renewed at the end of the season, the club said on Wednesday after their relegation from the English top flight.

Spanish coach Selles, 39, was placed in temporary charge after Nathan Jones was sacked on February 12 following a dismal run of nine defeats in 14 games that left Southampton sitting at the bottom of the standings with 18 points.

He led them to a 1-0 victory over Chelsea in February, following which he was appointed manager until the end of the season.

However, he was unable to engineer a turnaround in fortunes for the south coast club, who have been relegated and will finish bottom of the standings before returning to the second-tier Championship for the first time since 2012.

“Southampton football club can confirm that it has held conversations with men first-team manager, Ruben Selles, and decided that his contract will not be renewed when it expires at the end of the season,” Southampton said in a statement.

int Swansea City boss Russell Martin as their new headcoach, British media reported.

Southampton host Liverpool in their last game of this season on Sunday.

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