Anthony Martial is seeking pastures new with reports emerging that the Manchester United forward wants out of Old Trafford in the January transfer window.
The 26-year-old is unhappy with the amount of playing time he has received amid fierce attacking competition and is considering other options ahead of the transfer window opening on January 1.
Earlier this month, Martial’s agent Philippe Lamboley told Sky Sports News: ‘Anthony wishes to leave the club in January.
‘He just needs to play. He doesn’t want to stay in January and I will speak to the club soon.’
With the forward keen for a new surroundings, Sportsmail looks at his possible destinations and how he would fit.
Anthony Martial reportedly wants to leave Manchester United in the January transfer window
Martial’s agent Philippe Lamboley spoke publicly this month about his client’s desire to leave
This is Martial’s top destination, according to reports. Sky Sports claim that a move to Julen Lopetegui is firmly on Martial’s Christmas wishlist.
Sevilla are keen on a loan deal, the report adds, with a view to make the move permanent.
The move makes sense for Sevilla in a sense that the added firepower may help them win their first LaLiga title since 1945-46 – which would only be their second-ever in history. The Andalusian side are currently second in LaLiga, five points off table-toppers Real Madrid.
Martial has reportedly targeted a move to Sevilla in January if he leaves United next month
The Spanish outfit – coached by Julen Lopetegui – are impressing in LaLiga and sit second
The Spanish top-flight title race is very much looking like a two-horse race and Lopetegui will be frustrated his side were unable to close the gap on Real to three points on Tuesday night after drawing 1-1 at home to Barcelona.
Against Barcelona, Sevilla deployed a 4-3-3 formation with Lucas Ocampos, Rafa Mir and Papu Gomez as their front three. Mir was deployed as the central striker he was guilty of missing some chances – including having a goal disallowed for offside.
Former Wolves striker Mir is Sevilla’s top goalscorer this season with seven goals in 24 appearances. While his side don’t need many chances to score from, the acquisition of Martial would provide Lopetegui with another goalscoring option in attack.
Martial sees himself as a centre-forward but often his best work for United has come from the left wing. That versatility would prove handy to Lopetegui as he could rotate his frontline with Martial sometimes playing on the left wing instead if Ocampos or Gomez are ever rotated too.
Real have Karim Benzema, Vincius Junior, Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio and Gareth Bale – among others – to call upon as their striking options. For Sevilla to win their first LaLiga title in 76 years they need all the firepower they can get.
Rafa Mir (right) is Sevilla’s top goalscorer with seven this season but was wasteful vs Barcelona
Out of the three clubs reportedly circling for Martial, without doubt Barcelona’s need is the greatest. Simply put, newly-appointed manager Xavi doesn’t have a centre-forward he can rely on and this hole is glaringly obvious.
Against Sevilla they had numerous chances to win the match but squandered them all.
They peppered the hosts’ goal with shots and crosses in the first half and played most of the second with an extra man after Jules Kounde had been sent off, but they could not get a winner.
Barcelona boss Xavi is desperate to sign a striker in the upcoming January transfer window
Sergio Aguero’s retirement earlier this month due to health issues, has worsened Barca’s plight
With Ansu Fati injured and Sergio Aguero having retired, they are left with a mix players who are out-of-form and out-of-position in Xavi’s desired 4-3-3 formation.
On Tuesday it was Ousmane Dembele, Ferran Jutgla and Abde Ezzalzouli leading their frontline. When Jutgla went off, Gavi – who had been playing as one of the three central midfielders – initially went up front. Luuk de Jong, who is a centre-forward, didn’t come on until the 85th minute – highlighting Xavi’s view on his current central-striker options.
‘It’s a bittersweet sensation,’ Xavi said post-match, via Marca, after their 1-1 draw in Seville. ‘I think we performed well, but obviously we have to improve.
‘We’ve earned a point, but we have to be patient. It’s a shame because we had them.
‘It’s difficult to take, not winning. It’s going to be hard for me to sleep. I think we should have won.’
Ferran Jutgla started up front for Barca during Tuesday night’s 1-1 LaLiga draw at Sevilla
As detailed by Mundo Deportivo on Monday, Xavi is keen to sign a forward who ‘opens up the pitch, is fast and a good finisher’. Although they cite Ferran Torres as that player he desires, Martial also has those attributes that would enable Barca to play more akin to Xavi’s methods.
His versatility across the front would be extremely beneficial too as they bid to achieve a top-four finish. Barcelona currently sit seventh on 28 points – two behind Rayo Vallecano. However, Xavi’s side face a challenging task of finishing fourth with just six points separating Rayo Vallecano and 10th-placed Athletic Bilbao.
While on paper this deal may make the most sense for Barcelona and Martial, the harsh reality is that this could be the most unlikeliest. Barca are reportedly keen on a loan deal with a view to making it permanent but the club are also currently dealing with a crippling debt and would likely have to sell first in order to generate salary space for the France international.
Luuk de Jong is clearly not fancied by Xavi, with the centre-forward routinely a substitute
Switching from Spain to Italy, the third and final club reportedly monitoring Martial’s situation is Juventus.
The Italian giants are still yet to reassert their dominance domestically since relinquishing their eight-year monopoly of the Serie A title to Inter Milan last season.
This term, the Old Lady sit fifth in the standings – nine points behind league leaders Inter and four off fourth-placed Atalanta.
Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus need extra firepower to propel them to a top-four Serie A finish
Manager Massimiliano Allegri so far likes to switch between a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-3-3 formation this campaign and both would suit Martial if he moved to Turin.
In Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Cagliari, Allegri chose the latter formation with Federico Bernardeschi playing on the right wing, Moise Kean on the left and Alvaro Morata through the middle. Martial would be confident enough in his own abilities to play in place of either Kean or Morata – with the duo still with plenty of detractors.
Goals have been a problem for Juventus this season, with Morata especially and the likes of Kean and Paulo Dybala not known for being the most prolific of finishers.
The void of Cristiano Ronaldo, who returned to Manchester United in August, has not been filled and while it is unlikely Martial would do that too – he would be able to chip in with a fair few goals himself.
Speaking earlier this month, Juventus director Pavel Nedved didn’t rule out the club making a move for a forward in January too.
Alvaro Morata is Juve’s most experienced centre-forward but isn’t the most clinical of finishers
‘I agree, we are behind schedule in terms of goals, but there are also attacking players like Federico Chiesa and Federico Bernardeschi who can get 10-15 goals per year,’ he told DAZN.
‘It’s true, we lost a player who scores 30 goals per season [Ronaldo], but if more of them have 10-15, then we’ll have a better chance of climbing the table.
‘The January transfer window is not an easy one to operate in, I think we must focus on getting the best out of the current players and give them confidence. We must continue to push them to do more.
‘I won’t say it’s impossible we’ll see someone come to the club in January, but we have many young players who just need that little bit more to really make a difference.’
Juventus director Pavel Nedved hasn’t ruled out making a move for a forward next month