Marcus Rashford partied in a nightclub after Manchester United’s emphatic derby defeat – just hours before he was due to report for training on Monday morning.
The England forward is understood to have attended the popular Chinawhite nightspot in Manchester city centre until some time past midnight for a birthday celebration that had been arranged by close friends prior to United’s 3-0 loss at Old Trafford.
Rashford, who turns 26 on Tuesday, reported on time for training that morning but his late night celebrations may not go down well with United fans frustrated by the manner of the defeat to Manchester City and the team’s dismal start to the season.
United are not thought to have been aware Rashford was going out but there is no requirement for players to inform the club of such social engagements.
Rashford’s friends are believed to have arranged for the intimate get together in a private area at Chinawhite, which is popular with celebrities, and had arranged the celebrations some time in advance of the City game.
United and Rashford’s representatives have declined to comment.
It is unclear what view Erik ten Hag takes of Rashford being out late ahead of a morning training session but the United manager has strict disciplinary standards and the incident comes at a time when both player and club are struggling on the pitch.
City’s win saw United slump to a fifth defeat in their opening 10 Premier League matches and fall eight points behind fourth place, with the club already facing an uphill battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Rashford has managed just one goal in 13 appearances this season and has looked a shadow of the player who scored 30 times last term en route to earning a lucrative new five-year contract in the summer.
United are due to face Newcastle in the Carabao Cup fourth round at Old Trafford on Wednesday before playing Fulham at Craven Cottage in the league three days later.
The club’s poor start has not been helped by a persistent injury crisis but Ten Hag has come in for severe criticism over his tactics and the team’s lack of identity in the wake of the derby defeat.
Ten Hag reacted to questions about United’s playing style by claiming they do not have the players to play like his successful Ajax side, whom he guided to the Champions League semi finals in 2019 and three Eredivisie titles.
Asked when he would be able to replicate Ajax’s playing style at Old Trafford, Ten Hag told Viaplay: “Never. We will never play that football here because those were different players. This is also not why I came here.
“The players you have determine how you will play. We are playing different football than I showed at Ajax. That will have to be the case because I can’t play the same way here.
“That is not the DNA of Manchester United at all. Ajax has a very typical and characteristic style of play.
“With Manchester United I will always show different football, I did so last year as well. We play much more direct football here because I have the players for that here, especially at the front [of the pitch].”