Manchester United have made a breakthrough in talks aimed at keeping local hero Marcus Rashford at the club long term.
The striker has indicated he is ready to sign a new deal which will keep him at the club until potentially 2025, after positive discussions which aim to make him one of the better paid players at Old Trafford.
And executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is confident he will be able to announce a new contract for the 21-year-old within the next few weeks.
Rashford had doubts about his United future under Jose Mourinho and made noises about a move in search of more regular first-team football.
But since the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he has become one of the first names on the team-sheet, and has responded with a goalscoring streak that has now extended to eight goals in his last 15 matches.
He has started all but two of the 13 games since Mourinho left, with one of those an FA Cup tie against Championship strugglers Reading.
One of Woodward’s priorities when he appointed Solskjaer as a temporary manager was to see a transformation in selection policy which gave more opportunities to young talent in the side, like Rashford, Anthony Martial and Andreas Pereira.
The new boss has given all three more game time, with Martial responding by penning a new five-year deal last week, thought to be worth in the region of £200,000 a week.
Pereira wants to move to find first-team football, but United will trigger a one-year extension to keep him at the club in the hope he can still be persuaded to agree new terms.
But it is Rashford who is the jewel for the Manchester club, and they know fans would revolt if he was allowed to run down his contract, which has only two years left to run, even with a one-year extension option.
The England striker is pleased to have been used as a central striker ahead of Romelu Lukaku under Solskjaer, and his representatives have indicated his willingness to stay, on hugely improved terms which will take him closer to Martial’s salary.
Woodward promised there would be contract news on current players in a call to investors last week, and he aims to conclude a deal for Ander Herrera alongside Rashford in the next few weeks.
United are also in talks with keeper David de Gea, but the Spain international has indicated he is not yet ready to commit to a new contract, though talks are continuing. Juan Mata and Ashley Young have also been offered new deals.