Galatasaray have entered the race to sign Manchester United striker Anthony Martial, according to a report in Turkey.
Milliyet, a daily newspaper in Istanbul, contend the Turkish giants are attempting to “steal” the Frenchman from the grasps of bitter rivals Fenerbahce, who have a long-standing interest in Martial.
Indeed, Millyet even believes the 27-year-old has “rejected [a] Fenerbahce offer recently” as he contemplates his next career move.
United are reported to have decided not to activate the automatic one-year extension in Martial’s contract, meaning his current deal is set to expire in the summer.
Though Erik ten Hag – speaking in a press-conference before the FA Cup third round match against Wigan Athletic – indicated the club were “talking” with Martial over a prospective new deal, sources at Old Trafford indicate this is more of a formality.
Instead, it’s believed the club is expecting the Frenchman to leave in the summer as a free agent, if he is not sold before then.
There has been a host of teams linked with a move for Martial this month.
While Fenerbahce’s interest has been widely discussed, the forward was also believed to be a target for West Ham, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Inter Milan. He is also pursued by the Saudi Pro League but the PIF are struggling to make transfers in January.
A report relayed by The Peoples Person revealed Martial had rejected all of these advances, however. He appears content to let his contract run down – worth up to £250,000 a week – and test the free agency market in the summer.
Which is why the update of Galatasaray designating Martial as a “priority” by Milliyet is such a positive development, given Old Trafford officials seemed resigned to losing the forward on a free.
Galatasaray have struggled for goals in the absence of Mauro Icardi and appear to have settled on Martial as “star reinforcement” to help this issue. Furthermore, Milliyet believes the Turkish club will “not have any problems” in terms of providing a suitable transfer fee for any targets on their “radar.”
If United were able to salvage any transfer fee for Martial, it would constitute a late Christmas present for the club. Even ridding themselves of an expensive wage for the last six months of his deal would be a win.