Marcus Rashford went out in Belfast the night before reporting himself as too ill to attend Manchester United training on Friday.
United were informed that Rashford was out in the Northern Ireland capital on Wednesday night but The Athletic has seen confirmation that the player also attended a nightclub the following evening, hours before being scheduled to report for a club training session.
Rashford attended Thompsons Garage nightclub in the city on Thursday night, returning to Manchester on a private flight the following morning.
Erik ten Hag said on Friday that the England international was unable to train ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup fourth round trip to Newport County due to illness.
Video footage of the 26-year-old’s night out in Belfast subsequently emerged, with United claiming that the images were from Wednesday night — before a scheduled day off for the first team squad.
Rashford was also pictured in another Belfast nightspot — Lavery’s Bar — on Wednesday.
However, multiple sources have since confirmed to The Athletic that Rashford spent both nights celebrating in the Northern Irish capital, attending Thompsons on Thursday.
Both Manchester United and Rashford’s camp declined to comment when contacted by The Athletic.
Ten Hag said on Friday: “This morning, Rashford was ill and (Jonny) Evans was ill so we have to see how they recover.”
United’s players had been given a week off from training after their 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on January 14 — with a two-week break before returning to action for Sunday’s FA Cup Fourth Round clash against Newport County.
The squad returned to training this week, with Rashford involved in the sessions between Monday and Wednesday before his trip to Northern Ireland.
The forward’s trip coincided with his friend and former United youth-team graduate Ro-Shaun Williams signing for Northern Irish champions Larne.
Williams, 25, did not make a first-team appearance for United but spent 11 years in the club’s youth system.
The defender is a year younger than Rashford and made over 150 appearances across spells at Shrewsbury Town and Doncaster Rovers before his January transfer to Larne.
Images of Rashford’s attendance at Larne’s training facilities were shared on social media on Thursday.
In November, the United boss described Rashford attending a nightclub after his side’s 3-0 defeat in the Manchester derby as “unacceptable”.
“I spoke with him about it. It’s unacceptable. He apologised and that is it. For us it’s an internal matter,” Ten Hag said.
“He’s very motivated to put things right. He’s totally with us.
“He has made a mistake but that doesn’t say he’s not fitting in. I see him every day in training, what he’s doing, I know.”
Part of Ten Hag’s strategy to management is discipline and several players have been reprimanded after falling foul of these rules.
One example of this was Ten Hag’s ostracisation of Jadon Sancho, whose last United appearance was in August before he was banned from using the club’s first-team facilities.
The England international was effectively banished from first-team training with United since September after refusing to apologise to Ten Hag following a dispute around his absence from the squad in the early-season defeat at Arsenal.
Sancho completed a loan move to Borussia Dortmund for the remainder of the season earlier this month.
Rashford was benched for United’s 1-0 win at Wolves in December 2022 after sleeping in and arriving late to a team meeting. The forward’s introduction as a second half substitute saw him score the winning goal of that match.
The forward enjoyed the most prolific scoring campaign of his career under Ten Hag last term, finding the net 30 times across all competitions.
Rashford’s form has dipped this year, with just four goals in all competitions and having been dropped from the team in December — but he has scored in each of his last two Premier League appearances, against Nottingham Forest and Tottenham.
(Naomi Baker/Getty Images)