Still a fan, Rashford hurt by Man Utd's decline

London (AFP) –


Marcus Rashford wants to put Manchester United "back where they belong" after ending speculation over his future by penning a new four-year contract to remain at Old Trafford.

The 21-year-old had attracted interest from Barcelona, among others, with his previous deal running out in 2020.

However, Rashford, a product of the United academy, wants to lead the rebuilding at United and believes he has felt the Red Devils' fall from grace under several different managers in recent years more than most as a fan of the club.

"It is a huge sense of pride and a huge feeling for me to sign the contract," Rashford told The Times.

"Manchester United are one big family. Some clubs don't have that. That's why United are more than a football club to me.

"Me being a fan changes the emotional side of it. Say we lose a game, it affects me more than it should because I'm a fan. It hurts every day to see where we are now, (compared) to where we've been in the past.

"It makes me more determined to put the club back where they belong."

United finished 32 points behind local rivals and champions Manchester City in sixth in the Premier League last season and missed out on Champions League qualification.

Rashford believes the 20-time English champions can return to competing for the top honours in the coming seasons.

"There's nothing I want more than to see the club winning the Premier League again, winning the Champions League again," he added.

"Everybody here deserves much, much more than what we're giving them right now, not only the fans, the club itself. They don't deserve to be where they are now.

"As players, we're the ones who have the opportunity to try and forget about the past five, six years and put the club back on track."

The appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager to replace Jose Mourinho also played a part in convincing Rashford to stay at the club.

And he backed the Norwegian to succeed where David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Mourinho have failed in the six years since Alex Ferguson's retirement.

"The players have faith in the manager now," said Rashford. "It can take two or three seasons but I feel we're ready to take the first step."