Last week’s reports regarding Anthony Martial’s desire to leave Manchester United did not come as a great shock to fans of the club. The Frenchman, signed by Louis van Gaal from AS Monaco on transfer deadline day in 2015, has been a fan favourite at Old Trafford ever since his debut, scoring a scintillating goal after some wonderful dribbling and footwork against United’s bitter rivals Liverpool.
Yet Martial has become a peripheral figure for United since Jose Mourinho took charge of the club in 2016, and given the Portuguese’s lack of faith in the young man’s application and his inconsistencies, it was no shock to hear that the player was considering his future at the Premier League club.
Whilst all of this summer’s reports seem to state that Mourinho has the board’s full backing, the price that United have set to seal Martial’s signature appears to a very deliberate attempt to try and ward of potential suitors. The Sun are reporting that it could take as much as £100m to prise the player away from Old Trafford, which suggests that the club are far from comfortable with the idea of the Frenchman leaving this summer.
Such a fee for Martial is designed to be prohibitively expensive to the majority of his suitors, and realistically, only a few clubs, Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain could realistically afford such an outlay. Manchester City could certainly swing it, but no one at United would dare countenance selling a promising talent to the Etihad. The thinking with this price, if true, is that if United are forced to part ways with a player that is clearly rated within the walls of Old Trafford, then they will be handsomely recompensed in any deal, and can presumably then put that money towards a top quality replacement. In theory, anyway.