Manchester United are set to be without Marcus Rashford for up to three months, a scenario that may change Ed Woodward’s stance on a potential deal for Bruno Fernandes this month. Old Trafford chiefs are threatening to pull the plug on a deal but are now in desperate need of attacking reinforcements.
Rashford now reportedly has a double stress fracture in his back, after being risked in midweek against Wolves in the FA Cup.
Not only that, but he will also be required to undergo a procedure to remove a piece of floating bone in his foot.
That means United are going to be without their talisman and top scorer for a large part of the rest of the season and United are in need of a solution and fast.
At is stands, they currently remain in contact with Sporting over the signing of Bruno Fernandes but they are adamant they will not overpay what they consider to be his valuation.
JUST IN: Man Utd considering scrapping Bruno Fernandes transfer because of two other key targets
That is a risk that they may have to gamble on because without Rashford, United are staring down the barrel of an underwhelming finish to a campaign that has shown promise in small doses.
Anthony Martial has now shown the same ruthless streak that Rashford has added to his game this season and his numbers are not enough to drag United over the line.
So add to that an attacking midfielder who has a track record at scoring and creating goals, United at least have something to work with.
Fernandes is clearly a player that they are attracted to and the supporters are in need of a lift, a lack of business this month is simply no longer an option.
There is a good chance that United could actually try to sign a stop-gap striker this month on loan to answer their problems.
But realistically, United cannot afford to keep plugging gaps with short-terms answers.
In Fernandes, they have an opportunity to sign a genuine world class talent, a player who could help take their team to the next level.
When United were suffering from an injury crisis under Louis van Gaal, Rashford grasped his opportunity with both hands and has never looked back.
Mason Greenwood already has far more experience to what Rashford had back then, and he should be given the chance to step up in the absence of his team-mate.
After Chelsea’s last-gasp defeat at Newcastle, the door is open for any top four contenders who spend in the January market to start breathing down their necks.