Manchester United needed to sell well this summer and Saudi Arabia’s emergence as a player in the market seems to have come at the best time.
After selling Alex Telles to Al-Nassr and interest in Eric Bailly, Saudi football outlet Asian Nawaf reports that a club from the country wants to sign Anthony Martial.
The tweet below states- “Exclusive and confirmed, a Saudi club wants to sign Martial”.
🚨 حصري ومؤكد 🚨
نادي سعودي يرغب في التعاقد مع اللاعب مارسيال pic.twitter.com/chCm1ZkH5B
— نواف الآسيوي 🇸🇦 (@football_ll55) July 22, 2023
The identity of the club has not been named yet but if true, it would be a huge respite for United.
Injury-prone Martial played just 979 minutes in the Premier League last season despite the club not having a natural striker in the squad beyond him.
He showed promise in spurts before reverting to his wasteful ways, as the season brought only nine goals and three assists in 29 appearances.
Erik ten Hag was keen to place him as the undisputed first choice due to his encouraging play but his body repeatedly breaking down made it clear that he cannot be relied upon.
The Frenchman is even missing the crucial pre-season due to an injury issue sustained last season and the club are in talks with Atalanta for Rasmus Hojlund.
A striker’s arrival could accelerate the beginning of the end for Martial, whose contract expires in 2024.
His wages of around £250k/week are a huge burden on the salary bill which his performances haven’t come close to justifying.
A move to Saudi Arabia will be the ideal scenario for the club as it is arguably the only transfer where they won’t have to cover a part of his wages.
United might even be open to letting him leave for a cut-price fee, so exorbitant are his wages, courtesy of the mismanagement under the previous regime of Ed Woodward. On the other hand, with Erik ten Hag already struggling to add one striker to his squad, needing to replace Martial as well could make his summer more complicated still.
It remains to be seen if there is any substance to these reports as news emanating from Saudi has been slightly hit-and-miss. But if true, United might be wise to pounce on any interest and engage in negotiations.