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According to Duncan Castles of the Sunday Times, the Portuguese coach will not stand in the way of the France international if he wants to leave United and a club meet the Red Devils’ valuation of the player.
“The Manchester United manager is aware of efforts by Martial’s agent to secure a new club and will not stand in the forward’s way should he request a move,” Castles said. “Mourinho is pushing United to be more aggressive in the coming transfer market than [they were] ahead of his first two campaigns at the club.”
Additionally, Castles also suggested Mourinho wants to clear some wages off the books to make room for incoming players.
Martial was an unused substitute on Saturday as the Red Devils beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at Wembley Stadium to progress to the FA Cup final. RMC Sport’s Mohamed Bouhafsi recently reported that the forward is keen to depart Old Trafford at the end of the season because of concerns over his playing time (h/t Tom Coast of Sport Witness).
To see Martial in this position is a surprise, as he lit up English football in his debut campaign for United in 2015-16. However, in the two campaigns since under Mourinho, he’s not showed his best on a consistent basis.
Per Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News, the 22-year-old is still a popular figure among the United fans:
Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst
Anthony Martial’s not warming up but United fans are starting to sing his chant loudly. #mufc
That’s not a shock, as the former Monaco man is the type of player who can get supporters off their seats when he’s at full flight.
Martial is quick, skilful and, when he does find himself in front of goal, composed. Given he’s still in the early stages of his career and has raw facets to address in his game, his potential is enormous. He has nine goals and five assists in the Premier League this season.
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He’s only started 17 league games in 2017-18, and in recent weeks, Mourinho has left Martial on the fringes, often in favour of January arrrival Alexis Sanchez. Marcus Rashford has also been vying for a position on the left flank throughout the course of the season.
As writer Sam Pilger noted after United’s win over Bournemouth in the Premier League on Wednesday, Martial has impressed when give a chance:
Sam Pilger @sampilger
Paul Pogba & Anthony Martial #mufc’s best players tonight. Reports of their demise have been exaggerated…
If United are open to selling the player, you sense he wouldn’t be short of suitors. The potential is there for Martial to become a world-class operator.
Red Devils supporters would be sad to see a footballer of such pedigree leave in the summer. However, it’s difficult to see how Martial forces his way into the side on a regular basis. And there are a number of elite clubs in Europe that would give the Frenchman the chance to be a regular starter.