Anthony Martial wants to leave Manchester United, his agent has announced.
The 22-year-old has fallen out of favour in his two seasons under Jose Mourinho, starting less than half of United’s Premier League fixtures during that period.
Martial arrived at the club from Monaco in 2015 for an initial fee reported to be £36 million, and enjoyed a strong debut campaign under Louis van Gaal, netting 11 league goals in 31 appearances – only two of which came from the bench.
However, just 18 of Martial’s 30 league outings in 2017-18 were starts, and his lack of game time led to his exclusion from Didier Deschamps’ France squad for the World Cup in Russia.
Speculation has continued to mount regarding Martial’s future and the forward’s agent, Philippe Lamboley, says his client wishes to move on, with a year still left to run on his deal at Old Trafford.
Lamboley suggested lengthy contract talks were not making Martial feel wanted by United, while the agent also suggested the club’s business in January, when Alexis Sanchez was brought in, have also affected the player’s decision.
“After thinking about all the possibilities and settings, Anthony wants to leave Manchester United,” Lamboley told RMC Sport.
“For now it’s premature to talk about [why]. Anthony will speak later to discuss all of this.
“United wants to extend Anthony’s deal and does not want him to leave but we do not find an agreement for several months. I think that when Manchester United – which is the most powerful club in the world, it must be remembered – does not find an agreement in eight months of negotiations, it is that it does not really want to make him an important player in its squad.
“It is a well-considered decision. However, it is quite obvious and it is very important to remember that he is under contract, that Manchester United will have the last word and that we will respect the decision of the club, he will go to the end of his commitment [if required].
“However, we do not have the same vision on Anthony’s future. Today, Anthony is disappointed because he has shown for three seasons the love he had for the club and his supporters. Besides, I can tell you that without the unconditional support of the fans, Anthony would have already asked to leave United.
“However, Anthony got hooked, he showed great professionalism, he was successful. I think he has done his best for three years. It is important to remember that this season he scored 11 goals and gave 10 assists in five months. He was elected three times player of the month by the fans.
“Then arrived the transfer window of January. I will not comment on the consequences of this transfer window. Everyone will have his opinion, I think he must resume the course of his career. The time has come.”
Asked if any clubs had made contact regarding Martial, Lamboley replied: “I cannot say anything on the subject at the moment but you think that from the moment a player like Anthony is on the market a lot of clubs are interested.
“The only thing I can say is that many coaches appreciate his profile and that many clubs want to show their projects to Anthony. He just wants to play, find pleasure, the feeling with the coach will be essential.”