Al-Ettifaq could be set to offer Manchester United a much-needed financial boost by bidding for Anthony Martial in the January transfer window.
Ekrem Konur, a writer for Daily Mercato, revealed on X (formerly known as Twitter) that the Saudi Pro League club may make a “€10 million offer” for the French forward, with United keen to sell.
As explained in greater detail here, Old Trafford officials have been “discussing” the possibility of extending Martial’s contract – which is set to expire in the summer of 2024 – as a means towards maintaining the Frenchman’s value.
If an extension of twelve months is activated, the club would have another two transfer windows in which to sell Martial, rather than allowing him to leave on a free transfer.
An update emerged from Old Trafford today, however, revealing the club had decided against this decision, instead preferring to either sell the forward in January or simply allow his contract to run down by next year.
This is why this update of reported interest in a winter move to Saudi Arabia is so significant. And it’s not the first time Martial has been linked with a move to the Saudi Pro League.
The twenty-eight-year-old appears to be a long-standing target of the rapidly emerging league, which is keen to secure the services of ‘big name’ players who, for varying reasons, may have fallen out of favour at the top level of European football.
As such, Martial fits the bill perfectly.
The Frenchman is a pale shadow of the exciting talent who first took English football by storm under Louis van Gaal. Long gone is the dynamic dribbler who danced past the Liverpool defence en route to a sensational start in front of the Old Trafford faithful.
Fleeting moments of promise have flickered here and there during his subsequent United career, but he appears to have settled into a fatal combination of injury-prone, indolent and inconsistent at this point.
Yet his name and reputation still carry a certain je ne sais quo in the footballing world. He is still, ostensibly, at his peak powers at only twenty-eight. And he’s still capable of moments of genuine quality, as demonstrated by his effortless finish in the recent 3-0 win over Everton.
Given United’s desperation to salvage some level of compensation for his departure this window, Martial appears the perfect candidate for a move to the Saudi Pro League.
Given the forward’s preference to not run or exert any level of meaningful effort, it’s a move which seemingly makes sense for every party involved.