Anthony Martial’s Manchester United future is up in the air again after the French international drew criticism from manager Jose Mourinho after leaving the pre-season camp to witness the birth of his child. Mourinho was expecting Martial to return after the birth, but the former Monaco forward has so far avoided coming back.
The United boss wasn’t pleased, recently telling the media: “Anthony Martial has the baby and after the baby is born – beautiful baby, full of health, thank God – he should be here and he is not here.”
The pair haven’t been on the same page ever since Mourinho replace Louis van Gaal as manager and it could mean Martial departs Old Trafford before the summer transfer window shuts. United won’t want to lose the attacker without replacing him, but reports suggest they are actively pushing him out the door before the new season starts.
Mourinho and Martial still aren’t seeing eye to eye
Mourinho and Martial haven’t had a good relationship from the off. In the former’s debut season, the latter made only 18 Premier League starts and was either substituted on or substituted off in 18 on his 25 appearances. The following campaign was hardly any better, with Martial making just 18 league starts once more and only playing a full 90 minutes in five of his 30 appearances.
He has been called out on a number of occasions by Mourinho to perform better if he wants to regularly feature in the first-team, but it’s hard to see the pair working together for another campaign. Supporters will be distraught to see the 22-year-old leave the club, but it’s clear he isn’t happy. It’s also clear that United have identified his replacement and have made enquiries.
Mourinho targeting Willian as a potential replacement
The Red Devils have been linked with a Willian-Martial swap deal this summer, with Mourinho being a big fan of Chelsea’s Brazilian international that he managed in his second stint at Stamford Bridge. The proposed deal raises a lot of questions, as Willian is seven years Martial’s senior and may have already peaked in his career.
According to Paris United, Paris Saint-Germain were informed they could sign Martial for £70m. Despite possessing explosive pace, being able to beat his opponent with ease and having a fantastic eye for goal, Martial has struggled for consistency under Mourinho. The relationship between the pair doesn’t appear healthy and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they parted company this summer as a result.