Manchester United staff had concerns about Marcus Rashford’s ‘party lifestyle’ as early as autumn 2021, insiders claim.
Concerns were raised about the star enjoying nights out and throwing boisterous parties with friends.
Wayne Rooney, who himself had hit rough patches in his career, decided to get in touch with his former teammate.
The Sun understands Reds legends David Beckham and Rio Ferdinand have also been in touch.
Their interventions came after Old Trafford bosses became concerned over a series of worrying allegations about England international Rashford’s behaviour.
And the Sun told how Rashford went on a 12-hour boat trip to Belfast last week and then called in sick for training on Friday.
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He was ruled out for Sunday’s 4-2 FA Cup win over Newport and will be fined two weeks of his £325,000-a-week wages.
He expressed regret for his actions during a tense meeting with manager Erik ten Haag and United’s director of football John Murtaugh on Monday.
The club said the matter is now closed and he will be considered for selection for tomorrow’s game against Wolves.
However, earlier alarm bells have included Rashford’s relationship with fans – usually solid given his status as an academy graduate.
They suffered when he clashed with a fan at Old Trafford who criticized his performance against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
He is said to have confronted his fan saying “What fan do you think you are stupid, come from behind and say it to your face”. He later denied it.
Rooney, who like Rashford burst onto the scene as a teenager, was more than happy to help.
A source said: “The club were alerted to some issues of concern to them. People around Marcus thought that one solution might be to ask Wayne if he would be good enough to contact Marcus directly and offer support.
“Wayne was only too happy to help. Marcus has always looked up to Wayne — he’s one of his idols — so he was really happy to learn about him.”
Rooney, then retired manager of Derby County, contacted Rashford by phone.
He gave him words of encouragement and made it clear that he was available if Rashford ever needed to seek his advice.
Rashford said in a 2023 interview with Gary Neville how grateful he was for Rooney’s support.
He said: “I always think about how I can help other players like some players have helped me.
“I feel like I’m in the right position and things to really help them at the beginning of their careers. I try to steer them in the right direction the same way people like Wazza [Rooney]Karars [Michael Carrick]Juan [Juan Mata] everything pointed me in the right direction.”
But despite the support showered on Rashford, some are still concerned that his love of the night life has taken a toll on his performance on the pitch.
The 26-year-old was spotted going to casinos, including Manchester’s 235 Casino and Genting in the city’s Chinatown area.
Rashford is understood to have started playing poker at home with some of his United team-mates and is said to have then started visiting casinos to play in private VIP rooms, knocking back beers.
Customers at a casino gathered at the door to try to catch a glimpse of him. A source said: “Marcus loves to play poker and has for years. He might have had a few bottles of beer – nothing crazy, but he wasn’t used to it, so it wasn’t great.
“When Marcus was challenged about it, he always pushed back and said it wasn’t an issue.”
Another source said: “Marcus loves the nightlife but the worry is he has made too much of it. His house was a party.”
More turmoil came when his tumultuous relationship with childhood sweetheart Lucia Loi, 25, fell apart.
The pair met when they were pupils at Ashton-on-Mersey School, while Rashford was on scholarship at United.
A source said: “Lucia is great for Marcus because she is a normal girl and she knew him before everythingthe cars and the .
“When you strip him of his personality, he’s not the most confident around women and has the same insecurities that most people have.”
Another issue that has weighed heavily on Rashford recently is the support of his extended family.
He is so close to brothers Dwaine and Dane that they all live in townhouses on the same street with mum Melanie.
But those relationships were put to the test after Dane was arrested on suspicion of battery in October while on vacation in Miami with his partner.
TheThe case was dismissed, but the consequences led Dwaine to sell his house and cause friction in the family.
A source said: “Marcus loves all his family very much, but it’s tiring him out.”
Rashford has also bought properties for extended family members, but this has raised his stress levels as some expected him to provide for them further.
The source added: “Marcus is really struggling. Anyone who cares about him should step up and start helping him, instead of expecting it to be the other way around.
“He may be a rich footballer but he is a young man who has lost his way. The sooner he finds it, the better.”