Manchester United admit Anthony Martial WILL be allowed to leave in the January transfer window… but boss Ralf Rangnick says a deal will only be struck ‘in the interests of the club’
- Anthony Martial has made it clear he wants to leave Manchester United
- Manager Ralf Rangnick has suggested the Frenchman could be moved on
- The 26-year-old has slipped down the pecking order and earns £200k-per-week
- A loan move is more likely and Sevilla have been strongly linked with Martial
Manchester United have opened the door for Anthony Martial to leave Old Trafford — but only if the deal is right for the club.
Interim boss Ralf Rangnick says he understands Martial’s frustration following talks with the unhappy France striker at Carrington last week. But he insists that Martial will stay during the January transfer window unless it suits United and warned that another Covid-hit season has emphasised the need for a big squad.
The 26-year-old is under contract at Old Trafford for another two-and-a-half years and his £200,000-a-week wages could be an obstacle in any transfer negotiations.
Manchester United have suggested Anthony Martial may get his wish of a January exit
A loan move is more likely and Sevilla have been strongly linked with Martial, who is understood to be interested in a move to Spain after telling Rangnick he wants to leave due to a lack of first-team action.
The former Monaco player has scored 79 goals in 268 games since joining United in 2015 for a fee worth up to £58million but he has made only four starts this season and not featured in the new manager’s first three games due to injury.
‘We spoke at length,’ said Rangnick ahead of Monday’s Premier League clash at Newcastle.
The Frenchman voiced his unhappiness at falling down the pecking order at Old Trafford
‘He explained to me he’s been at Manchester United now for the last seven years and he feels it’s the right time for a change, to go somewhere else.
‘In a way this is understandable. I could follow his thoughts, but on the other hand, it’s also important to see the situation of the club. We have Covid times, we have three competitions in which we still have high ambitions and want to be as successful as we can be.
‘It should not only be in the interest of the player, it should also be in the interest of the club. So far, as far as I know, there has been no offer from any other club and as long as this is the case he will stay.’
Rangnick has also spoken to Martial’s France team-mate Paul Pogba who has just six months left on his contract at United. But the German was reluctant to be drawn on Pogba’s future having previously said that he should not have to convince the player to agree new terms.
Martial looks most likely to head out on loan with a series of clubs wanting to take him on
‘Right now, it’s about getting him fit again,’ added Rangnick. ‘This will take another couple of weeks and until then my full focus is on the players who are available.’
United are expected to put off most of their transfer business until the summer but Rangnick echoed comments by Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp by warning that a player’s Covid vaccination status could be a decisive factor in any deal.
‘Yes, it could be a consideration and I fully understand what Jurgen said,’ he admitted.
‘It depends if you want to sign a player and risk him not being available. This is an issue the clubs seriously have to think about. If you sign a player knowing that he has not been vaccinated, you have to be aware that he might not be available, not only for 10 days.’
Rangnick has made three additions to United’s back-room team since he succeeded Ole Gunnar Solskjaer — coach Chris Armas, analyst Ewan Sharp and sports psychologist Sascha Lense, and confirmed that their contracts run out at the end of the season when his interim role also ends.
However, United manager Ralf Rangnick insists any deal for Martial will be on the club’s terms
But he added: ‘This doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be able to stay beyond that stage with the club.’
Newcastle head into tonight’s game on the back of defeats by Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester City. Boss Eddie Howe is expecting another difficult encounter against Rangnick’s side.
Howe said of the German: ‘I know he’s had a huge influence on some of the Premier League managers that are currently active and successful. He’s someone I highly respect and admire.’