Marcus Rashford announces social media break as Luke Shaw hits back at injury critics

Marcus Rashford after Man Utd's FA Cup final win over Manchester City
Marcus Rashford cut an emotional figure after Manchester United's FA Cup final victory - Getty Images/Neal Simpson

Marcus Rashford has revealed plans to step away from social media for a period to allow himself time to reset mentally after a “challenging season”.

The Manchester United striker has endured a tough past 12 months on and off the field and has been left out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2024.

Rashford finished the season on a high after helping United to win the FA Cup against Manchester City on Saturday but he managed only eight goals during the campaign and was twice reprimanded by manager Erik ten Hag for his off-field behaviour. Last month, he hit out at the abuse he has received on social media by declaring “enough is enough”.

Now the 26-year-old has announced his decision to step away from his social media accounts for a few weeks to help him recharge.

He wrote on X:

Meanwhile, Luke Shaw has hit out at claims he has been prioritising playing for England over Manchester United.

The United defender missed the final three months of the season with a serious muscle injury and had not recovered in time for Saturday’s FA Cup final.

Wayne Rooney had caused a stir in the wake of United’s 1-0 defeat by Arsenal this month by claiming that he was “100 per cent” certain some players were ducking out of the club’s final league matches to preserve themselves for the Cup final or Euros this summer.

There was no suggestion that Shaw was one of those players Rooney, the former United captain, had in mind. But the left-back, who was included in Gareth Southgate’s provisional 33-man England squad but is far from certain to be fit enough to make the final 26-man squad that has to be submitted on June 7, has felt the need to quell rumours he has been protecting himself.

Writing on his Instagram account, Shaw said:

Sofyan Amrabat has not given up hope that United might exercise a £21.4 million option to buy him this summer following his season-long loan from Fiorentina. The Morocco midfielder impressed at Wembley but has largely disappointed and been on the periphery this term.

“We are going to talk. Staying is certainly an option,” he told Dutch TV outlet Ziggo. “Manchester United are the biggest club in the world, so who wouldn’t want to play football here? But all parties have to be happy with each other, so we will sit down now and see what happens.”

Martial says goodbye to Man Utd fans

Anthony Martial has confirmed his nine-year spell with the club is finally over. Signed from Monaco in September 2015 for a fee that eventually reached £44 million, the France striker failed to deliver on the promise he showed during an eye-catching debut season.

Jose Mourinho wanted to sell Martial in 2018 only for United to veto the transfer but the 28-year-old would ultimately become a lightning rod for fan criticism as patience with his attitude and poor injury record wore thin.

Martial’s last appearance for the club came in an insipid 3-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth in early December, since when has been sidelined after undergoing groin surgery.

Despite spending nine years at the club, Martial scored just 90 goals in 317 appearances and he now leaves as a free agent after the club opted against invoking a one-year extension option in his £200,000-a-week contract.

Anthony Martial waving goodbye to Manchester United fans
Anthony Martial has missed significant chunks of recent seasons through injury - Getty Images/Oli Scarff

In a statement on social media, he said: “It’s with great emotion that I write to you today to say goodbye. After nine incredible years at the club, the time has come for me to turn a new page in my career.

“Since I arrived in 2015, I have had the immense honour of wearing this shirt and playing in front of you, the best supporters in the world! You have been an unwavering support, through the good times and the difficult.

“Your passion and loyalty have been a constant source of motivation for me. I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you’ve done for me. Your songs, your encouragement and your love for the club are memories that will remain engraved in my heart forever.

“I would also like to express my gratitude to all my team-mates, technical staff and all the members of the club I have met during my nine years here. I am proud to have been able to share these experiences with you.

“Manchester United will always be in my heart.”

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