Monday 10 December 2018

Why confirmation that Anthony Martial wants to leave Manchester United could pave the way for a lavish swap deal

Anthony Martial has missed out on World Cup selection for France after finding game time at Manchester United limited
Anthony Martial has missed out on World Cup selection for France after finding game time at Manchester United limited
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Anthony Martial has decided to leave Manchester United this summer, with Independent.ie understanding Tottenham will now make a move to sign the French forward.

Martial’s agent Philippe Lamboley confirmed to French outlet RMC that his client had decided to leave United after a difficult couple of seasons working with manager Jose Mourinho, as he has become a regular bench warmer and struggled to make his mark when chances came his way.

“After thinking about all the possibilities and scenarios, Anthony wants to leave Manchester United,” declared Lamboley. “There are many parameters, for now it’s premature to talk about it. Anthony will speak later to discuss all of this.

“Manchester United wants to extend Anthony and does not want him to leave but we haven’t found agreement for several months. I think that when Manchester United, which is the most powerful club in the world, it must be remembered, does not find an agreement in eight months of negotiations, it is because they do really want to make him an important player.

“That’s why this decision comes in. It is a well-considered decision. However, it is quite obvious and it is very important to remember that he is under contract, that Manchester United will have the last word and that we will respect the decision of the club, he will go to the end of its commitment.

"Anthony has the choice, I cannot say anything on the subject at the moment but you think that from the moment a player like Anthony is on the market a lot of clubs are interested. The only thing I can say is that many coaches appreciate his profile and that many clubs want to show their projects to Anthony.”

Independent.ie have been told that Tottenham are eager to sign Martial and with United currently struggling to find agreement with Spurs in their efforts to sign Belgian centre-back Toby Alderwiereld, the comments from Lamboley could pave the way for a deal that suits both clubs.

The unequivocal nature of Lamboley’s comments suggest there will now be no way back for his client at United and after Mourinho made it clear he will allow star names to leave this summer if they indicate a desire to move on, that path now seems inevitable for Martial.

While the comments from Martial’s agent fall short of an official transfer request, they are a clear indication that the forward who missed out on a place in France’s World Cup squad this summer has decided he needs a fresh start in his career.

Our story last Saturday revealed that United were 'ready to walk away' from a potential deal to sign Alderweireld, but the availability of Martial could pave the way for a deal that could mirror the transfer that saw Alexis Sanchez leave Arsenal for United last January in a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

There are suggestions that United are reluctant to sell Martial to a domestic rival, but the prospect of landing Alderweireld and not having to part with any cash could tempt Old Trafford chiefs to alter that stance.

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