If Martial asks to leave Man Utd, Chelsea to come calling

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Anthony Martial hasn’t had the easiest of seasons at Manchester United — his third in the Premier League following his $55-million transfer in 2015 — thus speculation over the 22 year-old’s future has already begun, with Chelsea the latest top-six PL side said to be monitoring the situation closely, according to a report from the Guardian.

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Having made just 17 starts (29 total appearances) in league play this season, with nine goals (second-most behind Romelu Lukaku) to show for his efforts, Martial now has just 14 months remaining on his current contract. An option for a fifth season at Old Trafford reportedly exists within the pact.

Even so, given the way transfer fees for comparable players have ballooned since Martial moved to Man United three summers ago, it’s not at all unrealistic to expect they could recoup most, if not all, of their initial investment.

Of course, there would undoubtedly be a “domestic premium” to be paid by another English club, as United would hesitate to sell Martial within the PL. Tottenham Hotspur have been loosely linked as having interest in the former Monaco wonderkid, though Juventus — another rumored destination — could be United’s preferred buyer, just to ensure the deal doesn’t come back to bite them too quickly.

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The first domino which could fall and set off a chain reaction of transfers revolves around the future of Chelsea’s Eden Hazard. With just two years remaining on his current deal, and longtime interest from Real Madrid, the Belgian could see now, with a season in the Europa League on the horizon, as the perfect time to leave Stamford Bridge. Discussions over a new long-term contract have been going on for months, but no deal has been struck.

Similarly to Martial, fellow potential attacking stars of the future, Marcus Rashford (15 starts, 32 appearances) and Jesse Lingard (19 starts, 31 appearances), haven’t exactly been afforded every opportunity as first-team regulars this season, lending further credence to the longtime idea that Jose Mourinho has little interest in developing the best and brightest of young talent.