Rashford has endured a poor season for United this year, netting just four times in 26 games across all competitions and the 26-year-old was disciplined by Erik ten Hag this week for calling sick into training after being pictured in a nightclub the day before.
A report by Football Insider has claimed that Arsenal, having allocated £45 million to sign Rashford in 2022, are again ‘keeping tabs’ on a ‘sensational move’ for the England international, although the fee United would demand is expected to be significantly higher.
While the validity of the report may be considered questionable, Arsenal have held a long-term interest in Rashford and Arteta’s pursuit of stars such as Kai Havertz and Gabriel Jesus from Premier League rivals proves that he is not against signing somewhat flawed, domestic-based players.
However, Rashford would be an unnecessary risk for a player who has proven erratic and unreliable as well as having significant concerns over his commitment to football, all while demanding a wage that would put him as Arsenal’s top earner.
Although Arteta may believe he could harness Rashford’s unquestionable ability and perhaps curb any behavioural issues by moving him out of Manchester, the last thing Arsenal need is another enigmatic attacker in their quest to establish themselves among Europe’s elite.
Arsenal can’t afford to bail out Man Utd like they did with Chelsea
Rashford scored a career-high total of 30 goals in all competitions last season and he was rewarded with a long-term extension at Old Trafford worth a reported wage of £375,000-per-week.
Arsenal’s top earner, in comparison, is believed to be Havertz, who penned a deal worth £275,000-per-week when he signed from Chelsea last summer for £65m and the German has had an enigmatic start to his time in North London so far.
Havertz was deemed as a player whose talent Arteta could ‘unlock’ but he has so far been as polarising as his time at Chelsea, perhaps leaving Arsenal with more questions than answers from his signing.
An underrated factor of Havertz’s signing was the financial relief it afforded Chelsea, with the Blues inadvertently strengthened by Arsenal after having their restrictions eased through the big money sale.
While Chelsea have not spent the money wisely enough to trouble Arsenal, the Gunners should not be so willing to make a similar gesture to United by relieving them off an albatross contract like Rashford’s and giving them a major financial reprieve.
With Arteta still yet to help Jesus find consistency with his goalscoring, the addition of a similar player in Rashford could leave Arsenal cause more issues than it would solve and the club cannot afford to make another large investment without seeing a significant return on the pitch.