Manchester United not intending to activate Anthony Martial contract option

Trending 7 months ago
ARTICLE AD BOX

Manchester United do not intend to activate the option to extend Anthony Martial’s contract when it expires at the end of this season.

Martial signed a new five-year deal in 2019, which included a clause enabling United to prolong his stay by 12 months until June 2025.

But as things stand the Old Trafford hierarchy are expected to let the 28-year-old forward leave as a free agent next summer — unless suitable offers from suitors arrive in January.

If United decline to take up Martial’s option, the forthcoming transfer window would present the last chance for them to generate a fee for him while overseas clubs will be able to negotiate with him from January 1.

Any sale would also create a squad place and salary space to potentially strengthen their attack.

Martial became the world’s most expensive teenage footballer in 2015 when he moved to Old Trafford from Ligue 1 side Monaco in a transaction worth £36million rising to £58m.

As the France international approached the final six months of those terms in late 2018, on that occasion United did activate an option to extend Martial and soon superseded it by tying him down to the contract he is on at present.

The club have tended to insert and trigger such clauses for most players, though they recently decided against doing so in the case of David De Gea and he departed in July for nothing.

Barring a change of plan, it now appears they will take a similar approach in regard to Martial.

Martial has made just seven starts this season (Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

He has made 19 appearances in the 2023-24 campaign so far but only seven were from the start — two of those in the League Cup — and the Frenchman is yet to complete a full game.

His substitution on 56 minutes of Saturday’s shock 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth, replaced by Rasmus Hojlund, was greeted with cheers from sections of the United supporters.

Overall Martial has scored 90 goals across 317 matches in all competitions, during a United career blighted by injuries and mixed form.

Despite winning two FA Cups, one League Cup and a Europa League title, Martial has faced regular speculation over his future and was loaned to Sevilla between January-May 2022.

The contracts of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof and Hannibal Mejbri are scheduled to end in 2024, too, and they also contain options to extend. United manager Erik ten Hag has confirmed the club are discussing what to do.

There is uncertainty around the future left-back Sergio Reguilon, whose season-long loan from Tottenham Hotspur contains a break clause available to both parties in January, while United will need to decided whether to turn the temporary acquisition of Sofyan Amrabat into a permanent switch.

United host Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday, when they must win to stand any chance of reaching the last 16, and travel to Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday.

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

Win, lose. Qualify, go out. Does it matter any more for Manchester United?

(Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Get all-access to exclusive stories.

Subscribe to The Athletic for in-depth coverage of your favorite players, teams, leagues and clubs. Try a week on us.

More
Source theathletic
theathletic