Jose Mourinho insists Rashford is an England senior player and should not ‘drop levels’ and go to the European Under-21 tournament in Poland this summer
JOSE MOURINHO is on a collision course with England boss Gareth Southgate over Marcus Rashford going to the European Under-21 championships this summer.
Rashford has returned to form after scoring against Chelsea last week and the extra-time winner against Anderlecht in the Europa League quarter-final on Thursday.
The United boss claims it makes no sense for the teenager to “drop levels” and link up with the young Three Lions for the tournament in Poland this June.
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It is understood FA chiefs are yet to make a decision either way on the United striker, who scored a hat-trick on his Under 21 debut against Norway last year.
Regardless of what the FA are thinking, Mourinho insists Rashford should only feature for the senior side.
Mourinho said:”I don’t want to go in that direction, I just feel that when a player reaches a certain level, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to drop levels.
“It’s like now I am going to play in the under-23s to win, let’s say a derby against Man City? No.
“Nicky Butt doesn’t take him to play that game.
“He could by age, so when you reach a certain level – and he’s reached that level for a long time – I don’t think it makes sense, but the power is in their hands.”
It has been a hectic 14 months for the United Academy star, who burst on to the scene in the Europa League last season with a double against Midtjylland.
Rashford forced his way into Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad and Mourinho wants his striker to have a complete break from football this summer.
The Portuguese could have similar issues brewing with Axel Tuanzebe, who could be in the United squad to face Burnley on Sunday.
Tuanzebe, 19, could replace Marcos Rojo who was stretchered off against Anderlecht with a suspected knee injury.
With Chris Smalling and Phil Jones sidelined, it leaves Eric Bailly as the only fit specialist centre-half.
The young defender whose only outing for Mourinho was against Wigan in the FA Cup, could be called into the England squad for the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea next month.
The deadline for squad submissions is May 8 with England’s first game against Argentina on May 20, when United’s season will still be ongoing.
Mourinho added:“Now I even have to think that Axel Tuanzebe has to go to the under something World Cup in Korea because maybe Axel has to come now [to the United first team], now we need everyone.”