Despite an impactful cameo performance for Manchester United against West Ham yesterday, Anthony Martial will still leave the club this month if a deal can be struck.
Although there have been reports linking him to a number of clubs, including Barcelona and Newcastle United, his destination looks likely to be either Juventus or Sevilla, in both cases on a loan agreement.
After yesterday’s match, United boss Ralf Rangnick said: ‘He’s a top player, one of the best strikers in the Premier League.
‘But we have other players in his position and it is his wish to leave but, as I said to him, it always takes different parts to find an agreement.’
Rangnick: "He's [Martial] a top player, one of the best strikers in the Premier League but we have other players in his position and it is his wish to leave but, as I said to him, it always takes different parts to find an agreement." #mulive
— utdreport (@utdreport) January 22, 2022
Juve have emerged as favourites to find that agreement, although reports in Italy differ in regard to whether he is the old Lady’s top priority or not.
‘The Frenchman has made his decision.
‘His agents have already talked about it with the Red Devils, who are opened to a loan, but at figures that are currently unreachable by the clubs concerned, Sevilla and especially Juve.
‘[Sporting director Federico] Cherubini considers the €5 million loan to June too much, to which we must add the €7.5 million salary for the remaining half of the season.
‘The parties will talk again at the beginning of next week. Juve want a significant discount or a longer loan, until June 2023. Otherwise they will turn to other objectives.’
Gazzetta dello Sport, meanwhile, reports that Dusan Vlahovic is Juve’s top priority and that Martial is simply an ‘alternative’ if their bid for the Serbian fails.
Meanwhile, Seville outlet La Colina de Nervion admits that Juventus are closer to meeting United’s demands. However, reporter Ismael Gala Gallardo is adamant that Martial has agreed to join Sevilla.
‘Sevilla FC have found a new obstacle in the race for Anthony Martial. Sevilla are pulling out all the stops against United, who are giving nothing.
‘In addition, now Juventus of Turin have come into play and … although the Italians will not consider paying everything that Manchester United are asking for, they do come much closer than [Sevilla].
‘[But] Martial is clear about his preferences when it comes to signing for the team from Seville. Even Monchi has an agreement with the French player and fully trusts that.
‘However, Sevilla’s problem lies in the fact that they cannot pay the player’s full salary and the fee at which Manchester United have priced the loan.’
Juve’s idea of extending Martial’s loan to June 2023 is unlikely to appeal to United. If he does well in the next five months, they will almost certainly want to cash in on him in the summer, or bring him back into the fold.
On the other hand, Sevilla’s offer is believed to be half of the amount United are asking for and would almost certainly fail to convert into a permanent deal, given their financial circumstances.
The ‘soap opera’ therefore looks set to run and run until the transfer window deadline, at which point it could be a case of who blinks first.