Anthony Martial is a man in demand.
The Manchester United forward has turned from hero to villain at Old Trafford, still lauded by some fans but increasingly written off by a majority that has become frustrated by his lengthy and numerous injuries and spasmodic form.
And despite United being short of centre forwards – Martial is, in fact, the only senior striker to have ever kicked a ball for the club, or in the Premier League – United boss Erik ten Hag “has been open to move on striker Martial this summer,” according to The Mirror.
The outlet claims that there are three clubs interested in acquiring the Frenchman’s services: West Ham United, Fenerbahçe and Inter Milan.
The Hammers’ interest has been reported here over the course of the weekend. They are looking for a replacement for Gianluca Scamacca, who has joined Atalanta after one disappointing year in the English capital in which he scored only three goals in 16 appearances.
However, Martial’s £250,00 per week wages would be a considerable problem for the Irons, who are struggling to close a deal for Harry Maguire due to his £190,000 current income and expectation.
To date, Lucas Paqueta is the club’s highest earner on just £150,000.
The same problem may be encountered at Inter, where Serie A’s salary capping comes into play.
There is currently no player in Serie A on wages as high as those of Martial. Inter’s top earner, as reported here, is Lautaro Martinez on £184,000 per week.
Fenerbahçe seem unlikely to be able to stomp up either the kind of transfer fee United will demand for the Frenchman nor the salary he will be seeking.
The Turkish side’s best bet would probably be a loan deal, but it is hard to see how this would benefit United unless they signed another striker before the transfer deadline.
United have a year to play with before Martial’s contract expires and have a one-year extension option after that to protect his value. Right now, at just £13 million, his stock is at its lowest point since he as 18 years old (source: transfermarkt.com) after an abject season in which he scored just nine goals in 29 games and was blighted by a series of injuries.
With age on his side and the aforementioned striker shortage at the club, selling the 27 year old now makes little sense for United unless a silly bid is submitted and so, despite the interest, it would be a surprise if he were to leave Manchester this summer.