Anthony Martial’s agent, Philippe Lamboley, has confirmed to RMC that the player wants to leave Manchester United this summer. Reports of the French striker’s unhappiness under José Mourinho have been around for some time, and only intensified in the second half of last season when Martial found himself pushed out of the team following Alexis Sánchez’s arrival in January. Lamboley referenced the January transfer window as a turning point.
Although football agents can sometimes appear to speak out of turn while trying to get the best outcome for their client (like a new and improved contract, for example), Lamboley’s remarks left little doubt about Martial’s wishes. So unless he has just gone rogue here, our Tony wants out.
“After thinking about all the possibilities and scenarios, Anthony wants to leave Manchester United.”
“There are many parameters, for now it’s premature to talk about it. Anthony will speak later to discuss all of this.”
Not much left open for interpretation there. Lamboley also confirmed that Martial has had a contract offer on the table from United.
“Manchester United wants to extend Anthony and does not want him to leave but we haven’t found agreement for several months. I think that when Manchester United, which is the most powerful club in the world, it must be remembered, does not find an agreement in eight months of negotiations, it is because they do really want to make him an important player.
“That’s why this decision comes in. It is a well considered decision. However, it is quite obvious and it is very important to remember that he is under contract, that Manchester United will have the last word and that we will respect the decision of the club, he will go to the end of its commitment.”
Worryingly for those of us that want Martial to stay, it does not appear that this is a problem at which the club can throw money. Instead, it appears that Martial is understandably upset at his lack of game time.
“It is important to remember that this season he scored 11 goals and gave ten assists in five months. He was elected three times players of the month by the fans. Then arrived the transfer window of January. I will not comment on the consequences of this transfer window. Everyone will have his opinion, I think he must resume the course of his career. The time has come.
Yikes. On interest from other clubs:
"Anthony has the choice, I cannot say anything on the subject at the moment but you think that from the moment a player like Anthony is on the market a lot of clubs are interested. The only thing I can say is that many coaches appreciate his profile and that many clubs want to show their projects to Anthony.”
Martial is arguably United’s most talented attacker, and it has been frustrating to see how Mourinho has refused to give him a steady run in the team, a problem only exacerbated by the addition of Alexis, who himself has failed to hit the ground running. At the same time, you have to wonder how much responsibility Martial bears for what he may lack in application or attitude.
If United do decide to part ways with their number 11 this summer, it’s hard to see the club expecting anything less than a fee that would allow them to recoup their initial investment. Unless Martial distances himself from these comments, it’s hard to see a way back for him at United while José Mourinho — not a man known his ability to rebuild bridges — is still in charge.