Anthony Martial faces the prospect of seeing his Manchester United career coming to an end after the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo this summer. Martial was struggling to command a regular starting place before Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford and his days at the club now look numbered.
Martial had arrived at United amid a rapturous fanfare in 2015 as he became football’s most expensive teenager in history at the age of 19.
Louis van Gaal, who was United boss at the time, persuaded the club to shell out a mouthwatering £36million to sign the Frenchman from Monaco.
And there have been moments for Martial to saviour at Old Trafford. The forward struck 17 Premier League goals in the 2019/20 season and hit a hat-trick against Sheffield United that very season.
But Martial has been plagued by inconsistent form in England and has never reached the heights expected of him.
The enigmatic talent has a contract at United which doesn’t expire till 2024 – but the club may look to cash in on him in January if they can get £40m for him.
Express Sport takes a look at four clubs which could sign the player in the new year.
Barcelona signed 33-year-old Sergio Aguero on a free transfer to lead the line this summer.
But the former Manchester City star is yet to make his debut for the Catalan giants after suffering a calf injury.
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Aguero isn’t a long-term option and his latest setback is a timely reminder of how injury-prone the Argentine is. His injury problems are only likely to get worse as he gets older.
Former Man Utd forward Memphis Depay also made the move to the Nou Camp this summer and has struck two goals in his first five matches for the club.
Martial could use Depay as an example of a player who excelled elsewhere after underperforming at Old Trafford.
Martial would likely jump at the chance of playing for one of the world’s biggest clubs – but he would have to compromise on his £250,000 salary. And that’s if the Catalans can even afford to pay a transfer fee.
Martial was linked with a move to Tottenham this summer as Spurs tried desperately to hang on to superstar striker Harry Kane.
Kane ultimately did stay in north London and a move for Martial therefore never materialised.
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But Spurs could chase the France international again in January as they look to solve their problems in front of goal.
Despite topping the table at the end of August, Tottenham have scored just three times this season and look devoid of ideas in front of goal.
Martial could provide the spark the side need – but chairman Daniel Levy is another man who won’t pay anywhere close to the salary the player currently earns.
If a move to Tottenham doesn’t happen, Martial could be of interest to bitter-rivals Arsenal.
Arsenal are another team who are struggling to find the back of the net this season and have only mustered a measly two goals in their opening five Premier League games.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looks off the pace and his attacking team-mates are hardly relieving the pressure on him.
Martial possesses an eye for goal and would inject pace into the Gunners side – so a move to the Emirates Stadium is certainly an option for the 25-year-old.
Liverpool’s front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have ripped through opposition defences for years.
But cracks are beginning to show and Firmino was criticised last season for his lack of goals.
Diogo Jota has been preferred to Firmino in the early part of this season and the famous three could be about to break up.
Martial is a player who could deputise for any of Liverpool’s frontline if he moved to Anfield and would give Jurgen Klopp’s side another string to their bow.
But transfers between Man Utd and Liverpool just don’t happen. The last time a player made the move directly from one club to the other was in 1964.
So both clubs would have to be pretty desperate for Martial to move to Liverpool.