Manchester United are reportedly prepared to sell enigmatic forward Anthony Martial this summer amid interest from Italian champions Inter.
What’s the story?
According to The Sun, Inter have identified the highly-rated 25-year-old as a potential replacement for Chelsea-bound Romelu Lukaku.
The report states that should the Belgium international complete his return to Stamford Bridge, the Nerazzurri will look to sign Martial on a season-long loan deal.
It goes on to state that although United’s preference is to offload Martial on a permanent deal, they would agree to a loan move as long as it included an obligation to buy in 12 months’ time.
The Old Trafford outfit are set to demand around £50 million for the versatile striker, a fee which would see the club recuperate the outlay they splashed out on the Frenchman six years ago.
Should United sell Martial?
Solskjaer would be fuming
Martial has often split opinion since arriving on English shores back in 2015, with inconsistent and lethargic performances often being sandwiched between moments of genius.
However, it seemed as though the former Monaco ace had gone up a level in 2019/20 when he bagged an impressive 23 goals in all competitions for the Red Devils.
He even added a further 12 assists in his 48 appearances for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, highlighting Martial’s ability to create as well as stick the ball in the back of the net.
Unfortunately for the France international, though, he was unable to build on his outstanding showing last season, with injury ending his campaign in March after he contributed to just 15 goals in 36 outings.
The arrival of former Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and the outstanding end-of-season form of Edinson Cavani threaten to push Martial down the United pecking order, but football director John Murtough could be heading for a transfer nightmare if he sanctions his sale.
While Martial can be incredibly frustrating at times, it’s important to remember his age and the immense pressure that comes with leading the line for the 20-time English champions.
At just 25, Martial has already racked up 78 goals and 50 assists in 258 fixtures for United, extremely respectable returns for a player who is yet to reach his peak years.
Yes, the £40.5m-rated gem may not be the first name on Solskjaer’s teamsheet next season, but the Norwegian tactician would surely be fuming to see him depart for San Siro this summer.
If United are going to challenge for major honours and fight on multiple fronts, then they’ll need significant strength in depth all across the pitch, and Martial offers that in multiple positions.
He has plenty of time to mature and develop into a consistent performer and Murtough may come to regret sanctioning any exit.