Manchester United striker Anthony Martial is reportedly determined to push through a January move due to concerns about his lack of game time.
The 26-year-old has gone from being a fans’ favourite and first team regular to a peripheral figure over the past 12 months.
While fans might have expected the French ace to stay and fight for a place in Ralph Rangnick’s new-look side, his agent today declared that Martial intends to leave.
As reported by The Times, agent Phillip Lamboley said, “Anthony wishes to leave the club in January. He just needs to play. He doesn’t want to stay in January and I will speak to the club soon.”
Barcelona are said to be interested in the mercurial attacker, although it remains to be seen if the cash-strapped Catalans have the funds to make a move happen.
Rangnick recently suggested that he won’t cling on to unhappy performers, which might be seen to represent a welcome cultural shift from the unnecessary squad bloat of recent seasons.
The 63-year-old said, “We need to make sure that players want to stay here. If they’re still not getting enough game time…it might make sense (to arrange a move).”
Perennial fringe player Jesse Lingard is also said to be set upon a move, with newly-minted Newcastle a possible destination.
The Saudi-backed Magpies are expected to spend big in the coming months, and are thought to have made Lingard their No.1 January target.
Lingard has struggled at Old Trafford over the last couple of seasons, but recaptured his best form during an eye-catching loan spell last season with West Ham.
The Martial news will probably be greeted with a mixed reaction among the United faithful. ‘Tony’ has become something of a cult figure at the club and expectations were initially high that he could become a genuine star.
Unfortunately, he’s lost his way over the past couple of seasons and has often been criticised over his laissez-faire attitude.
While there’s no doubting his ability, a move might be best for all parties. United are stacked up front and could use money from sales to push for a midfielder and right-back.