Marcus Rashford is reportedly facing a huge £650,000 Manchester United fine for allegedly partying the night before he called in sick to training. The striker was absent from training on Friday after telling the Red Devils he was too sick to attend their Carrington training base.
The fine is equivalent to two weeks’ wages, the biggest financial penalty clubs can hand down to players under PFA rules. It comes after Rashford was reportedly spotted partying in Belfast on Thursday night before reporting himself as ill the next day.
Rashford travelled to Northern Ireland on Wednesday to meet up with former United academy team-mate Ro-Shaun Williams, who was busy joining Larne from Doncaster Rovers. On Friday, pictures emerged of Rashford partying in Thompson’s nightclub in Belfast just hours after Erik ten Hag revealed that the player was ill.
United insisted that the snaps had been taken on Wednesday night. However, The Athletic reported that Rashford had been seen in the venue on both Wednesday and Thursday.
The England international did not travel with the squad for Sunday’s FA Cup victory over Newport, with the official line from the club being that he was ill and was continuing his recovery at Carrington. A frosty Ten Hag batted away questions about Rashford’s nights out.
Ten Hag repeated that Rashford’s absence was “an internal matter” three times during a pre-match interview with the BBC. He said that he will “deal with” the issue.
United had been given a week off after their 2-2 draw with Tottenham on January 14. Rashford is claimed to have reported for training on Monday and Tuesday before travelling to Northern Ireland on Wednesday, with United’s first-team squad given a day off on Thursday.
If Rashford does face a punishment by United, it would be the second time this season he has faced the wrath of Ten Hag for attending a nightclub. In November, the 26-year-old apologised after partying on the night of United’s humiliating 3-0 defeat against Manchester City.
Ten Hag said at the time: “I spoke with him about it. It’s unacceptable. He apologised and that is it. For us it’s an internal matter.
“He’s very motivated to put things right. He’s totally with us. He has made a mistake but that doesn’t say he’s not fitting in. I see him every day in training, what he’s doing, I know.”
Rashford has failed to build on his 30-goal season last term. He has struck just four times this campaign and embarked on a seven-month wait for a goal at Old Trafford before he scored against Spurs earlier this month.
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