Man Utd set to trigger Anthony Martial contract extension clause amid exit rumours
Martial looked to be heading out of United this summer after his agent revealed the striker’s sense of disillusionment under Jose Mourinho.
The striker struggled for game time following Alexis Sanchez’s arrival at Old Trafford in January that ultimately led to him missing out on a place in France’s World Cup-winning squad.
That led to a growing belief that he would be on his way this summer, with Juventus and Tottenham having expressed interest in signing the 22-year-old, who signed from Monaco for £36million in 2015.
However, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is ready to trigger the extension clause with United determined not to offload him.
Martial is set to lead United’s attack at the start of the new season, with Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford on extended breaks following the World Cup.
And United team-mate Ander Herrera believes Martial, who impressed in United’s 1-1 draw with Club America on the opening game of their US tour in Phoenix, has the ability to become one of the world’s elite players.
“He’s very talented,” said Herrera. “He can be one of the best players in the world and I think he’s very, very focused this season to smash it.
“When you have players like Anthony, like Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Alexis Sanchez, those kind of players that can change the game. If one of them can’t play we have three or four more, so we have lots of options.
“We shouldn’t think any other club has better players, because we have at least as good as our opponents. Now it’s all about work, confidence, about keeping on playing like he did in the game (against Club America).
“I’m confident with them because they’re all amazing players and Anthony looks very sharp.”
Herrera’s team-mate and Spanish compatriot Juan Mata endorsed his high praise of the club’s youngsters, with Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes, Joel Pereira, Axel Tuanzebe, Tim Fosu-Mensah, Scott McTominay, Demi Mitchell, Andreas Pereira and 16-year-old Mason Greenwood all involved in the 1-1 draw with Club America in Phoenix.
They are also likely to feature in tonight’s second game of the US tour, against MLS side San Jose Earthquakes at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
Mata said: “It’s good news for the club and especially the Academy that we have so many kids with us.
“They’re having a great experience by training with us and the manager, seeing what United represents around the world, and the future is bright for Manchester United with these Academy players.”