Pressure mounts as battle-line is drawn between Erik ten Hag and Man United star

Erik Ten Hag and Marcus Rashford are barely on speaking terms as the pressure mounts on the Manchester United boss.

Ten Hag was furious with Rashford when he went out partying until the early hours in Belfast last month when he was due in for training later that day.

According to The Sun, the manager felt the player also tried to deceive him by claiming the incident had happened 24 hours earlier than it did.

Rashford called in sick on January 26th just 48 hours before United were due to play Newport County in the FA Cup.

But it later emerged that the 26-year-old had been on a tequila session and not got to bed until the early hours of that morning before getting a private plane back to Manchester.

Ten Hag was furious and hauled Rashford in for an explanation.

While he missed the Newport match he was restored to the team for the following game away at Wolves scoring in the opening minutes.

But the relationship between manager and player has not repaired despite Ten Hag claiming it had been put behind them.

Ten Hag had already had to discipline Rashford this season after he celebrated his birthday in Manchester city centre last October immediately after getting thumped 3-0 at home in the derby against Pep Guardiola’s treble winners.

Staff are now concerned that the relationship between manager and player has broken down irrevocably as Rashford continues to struggle to find the form that lead him to career best figures of 30 goals last season.

In the absence of the injured Rasmus Hojlund, Ten Hag was forced to play Rashford as a number nine on Saturday in the 1-0 defeat to Fulham.

The England international struggled against a side who had previously won only once away from home in the league this season.

Man United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe “disagrees” with Erik ten Hag over move for Chelsea summer target

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is reportedly very keen on landing an elite striker in the summer and is eyeing up Brentford’s Ivan Toney to fit that bill.

The Red Devils brought in Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta at the beginning of the season but are already considering adding further firepower to Ten Hag’s arsenal.

The Daily Star claim that Ten Hag is personally keeping tabs on Toney ahead of a potential summer move. The England striker has made his intentions clear that he wants to depart Brentford at the end of the season, with a year then left on his contract even Bees boss Thomas Frank admitted that it would be unlikely that he stays.

Several top Premier League clubs hold an interest in Toney, with United set to compete with the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham as they hope to prise him out of London. But Brentford’s £100million valuation may prove to be a stumbling block for Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

The INEOS chief and United minority owner is aware that significant funds will have to be spent on recruitment in order to return the club to its former glory.

However, he believes that the 27-year-old is being overvalued and would consider a deal closer to £70m. The Brit is also keen to avoid a bidding war for Toney’s services.

Toney’s lack of experience playing in Europe is a factor in Ratcliffe being disinterested at £100m, while being aware that if the striker completes a four or five-year contract at Old Trafford he would have little re-sale value into his thirties.