Man Utd transfer news: Jose Mourinho wants keep Anthony Martial despite exit claim
Martial’s agent Philippe Lamboley told French media this week that his client wants to leave Manchester United.
The 22-year-old has failed to hold down a regular place in Mourinho’s two years in charge and started less than half of United’s league games last season. He is not in France’s squad in Russia either.
The arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in January shunted Martial lower down the United pecking order and Mourinho has been linked with a move for Gareth Bale or Marko Arnautovic this summer.
But it is understood that United have left Lamboley in no doubt that they do not want to let his client leave.
Martial only has one year remaining on his contract at Old Trafford but, as with all United player contracts, there is the option for another year that would keep him tied to the club until 2020.
And informal negotiations between the United hierarchy and Lamboley have been on-going for some months.
Spurs and Juventus are the two clubs to have shown greatest interest in the former Monaco youngster.
Martial’s name has even been mentioned as a part of a potential deal for United to sign Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld.
But United believe that after three often inconsistent seasons in English football, Martial’s best years are definitely ahead of him.
United privately believe Lamboley’s comments were an attempt to turn the screw on them because on-going contract talks have stalled.
And, although Mourinho was publicly critical of Martial at times last season, the United manager still believes he has an important part to play in his squad.
Mourinho has, however, insisted that he will not stand in the way of any players who tell him directly that they wish to quit the club, although Martial has yet to do that.