Martial agent: United striker “hurt” when Ibrahimovic given number nine kit

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It’s not the end of the world, but Anthony Martial was peeved with manager Jose Mourinho upon his decision to hand Zlatan Ibrahimovic the number nine jersey.

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Martial’s agent, Philippe Lamboley, claimed his client was “hurt” with the Swede receiving his number prior to the 2016/17 season, which the French attacker had earned upon his arrival the previous summer.

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“I am not going to lie about it, it hurt him when Manchester United took the number nine jersey off him. He was surprised by it and he was disappointed for a few days,” Lamboley told RMC. “But he is a professional. He knew that he had to fight back.

“Personally, I did not accept the decision, which I thought was disrespectful and misplaced. I let the United hierarchy know how I felt. You do not do things like that. We have turned the page, but not forgotten about it.”

After notching 17 goals in all competitions last season, Martial has struggled to find his footing under Mourinho in 2016. The 20-year-old has scored just once in seven Premier League appearances this year, raising questions as to how happy Martial is with the club, and particularly Mourinho.

Lamboley doesn’t believe that there is tension though between Martial and the United boss.

“It is not true that Anthony has a bad relationship with Mourinho,” he added. “They have a professional relationship. I’m sure Mourinho will get the best out of him, just like Louis Van Gaal did before him.

“Anthony is happy at United. We are trying to get out of a bad spell, he is no longer smiling all the time. People who know him know that he likes to smile.