Jose Mour­inho to make Mar­cus Rash­ford plea as he con­sid­ers squad ro­ta­tion

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Jose Mour­inho will re­quest that Mar­cus Rash­ford does not rep­re­sent Eng­land in the Un­der-21 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships if he has es­tab­lished him­self as a reg­u­lar in the se­nior na­tional squad by next sum­mer.

The Manch­ester United for­ward, who turns 19 on the last day of this month, has been the sub­ject of con­jec­ture, with FA sources in­sist­ing they want play­ers of his cal­i­bre to ap­pear in the un­der-21 tour­na­ment in Poland next June.

The idea forms part of the FA’s plan to hand their emerg­ing stars ex­pe­ri­ence in big tour­na­ments to aid in their devel­op­ment to­wards the se­nior level.

But while his club man­ager in­sists he has no prob­lem with Rash­ford play­ing in Poland, should he re­main part of an un­der-21 squad now man­aged by Aidy Boothroyd, he will bat­tle the FA on the sub­ject if he has es­tab­lished him­self in the se­nior squad by then.

“We are in mid-Oc­to­ber, the Cham­pi­onships will be in the sum­mer,” said the United man­ager. “I think we have to wait and see what hap­pens un­til then.

“Be­cause if the player be­comes a reg­u­lar in the A na­tional team, if you want to call it that. If he be­comes a reg­u­lar in the A na­tional team and es­tab­lished, then to say it is im­por­tant for his devel­op­ment with the un­der-21s, makes no sense.

“It’s the same that he’s a reg­u­lar here with us, and then we are go­ing to play him in the un­der-23 Cham­pi­onship be­cause we want to beat some­body and he can give us a help in that.

“Let’s see what hap­pens. If he’s an un­der-21 player in the na­tional team, then he is an un­der-21 player and there is no dis­cus­sion about that.

“But if he be­comes a reg­u­lar choice for Gareth South­gate in the first team, then we have to speak be­cause we don’t want him go­ing.”

Rash­ford has five caps to date, a goalscor­ing de­but in a friendly against Australia last sea­son, and four sub­sti­tute ap­pear­ances in Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship fi­nals and World Cup qual­i­fiers.

Mour­inho was speak­ing as he put the fin­ish­ing touches to plans for the Europa League group game with Fener­bahce at Old Traf­ford.

The game could be the op­por­tu­nity for Wayne Rooney and Hen­rikh Mkhi­taryan to start, as Mour­inho jug­gles his squad ahead of Sun­day’s trip to Chelsea.

Rooney has not started the last four United games and has also seen his in­ter­na­tional start­ing place dis­ap­pear, un­der new man­ager South­gate.

“Wayne is work­ing well, he is one of those re­spon­si­ble for the at­mos­phere for the play­ers,” in­sisted Mour­inho. “He is pos­i­tive, he is a good ex­am­ple. We count on him to start or be on the bench. He will be there to­mor­row.”

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