Anthony Martial has told Manchester United he wants to leave in order to pursue a fresh challenge, and plenty of clubs will be scrambling to sign the French forward.
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Get ready for the silky forward to be mentioned time and time again in the January transfer window.
Martial, 26, has been at United for the past seven years and has had spells where he’s looked sensational, but this season he is now behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes in the attacking pecking order.
The former Monaco star has also had plenty of injury issues and given the constant changing of managers at Old Trafford, he’s never really felt settled in the team despite scoring 79 goals in 268 appearances, mostly from wide areas.
Earlier in December Martial’s agent, Philippe Lamboley, told our partners in the UK at Sky Sports that Martial wanted to leave United. Interim Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has now confirmed that Martial would like to leave in the upcoming January transfer window, if possible.
If suitable offers arrive for the French international, where should he go?
Premier League options
- West Ham
Martial’s agent suggested he was keen on a move to Sevilla in Spain (I mean, who wouldn’t be, right?) but if he opts to stay in the Premier League, he will have a few options.
Newcastle seems like the most likely destination, especially as they aren’t direct rivals to Man United, but it is risky. Eddie Howe’s side obviously have the money to bring in new signings in January and they will pay over the odds to bring in a player of Martial’s quality who can help them climb out of the relegation zone. For Anthony Martial it would be risky initially to join Newcastle but long-term it seems like they will be back in the top 10, providing they stay up this season.
West Ham would be a really good move for all involved as the Hammers would hope Martial has a Jesse Lingard-esque impact to keep them in the top six. But would United want to strengthen a potential rival for a top four finish? Probably not. West Ham definitely need help for Michail Antonio up top and Martial would provide it.
Then there is Arsenal. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang likely to leave soon given his off-field issues, plus Alexandre Lacazette out of contract, maybe the Gunners could bring in Martial to add a little more experience to their otherwise young attack? Mikel Arteta may demand a little too much from Martial if he plays wide, but he would be a good fit for the central role.
So, we know Sevilla are keen on a loan move in January for Martial and vice versa, so they are the favorites. As for Juventus and Barcelona, well, they are two huge clubs but both have financial issues and that could be the main problem here. If United agree to let Anthony Martial leave on loan in January, then Juve and Barca could have a chance of signing him initially. Whether or not they would be able to pay a substantial transfer fee to sign him permanently remains to be seen, as Martial still has a contract until 2025 at United.
Barcelona are looking for forwards to help share the load with Memphis Depay and Martial is proven and wants a fresh challenge. Plenty of players want to sign for Barca to play for Xavi and it seems like they need a clinical finisher who is calm in the box. Martial could fit that role. Juventus need something similar too, so Martial will have options to move to some European giants. As long as they can do a deal with United.