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Juventus are reportedly ready to step up their efforts to sign Manchester United forward Anthony Martial this summer.
According to Tuttosport (h/t Sport Witness), the France international is Juve’s “Plan A” in the upcoming window, and they’ve “intensified” their attempts to secure the former Monaco man.
Additionally, the player’s representatives are said to be ready to put together an “exit strategy” for Martial, with the 22-year-old frustrated by his lack of playing time at Old Trafford.
Juve are reportedly ready to strengthen their options in attack at the end of the 2017-18 campaign. If Martial does prove to be unattainable, then the club is said to be keen to move for a centre-forward who can provide cover for Gonzalo Higuain.
After making a massive impression in his first season at United in 2015-16, Martial was expected to go on and accomplish big things at Old Trafford. It’s a surprise, therefore, that his future seems to be in major doubt with the Red Devils.
It was reported by Mohamed Bouhafsi of RMC Sport (h/t Tom Coast of Sport Witness) last week that Martial wants to leave United after struggling for starts in recent months under manager Jose Mourinho.
As relayed by Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News, it appears as though the United fanbase still have faith in Martial:
Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst
Mourinho applauds Pogba as he comes off. Possible that the yellow card has dictated that decision more than Pogba’s performance. Martial’s name hasn’t been chanted this loudly for a while. #mufc
Their belief in him is understandable, as there have been times since arriving at United that the youngster has shown glimpses of world-class talent.
Martial has been at his best on the left flank for the Red Devils, where he can use his blistering pace and close control to wriggle past defenders with ease. When he gets into dangerous positions, the Frenchman has also consistently showcased ice-cold composure.
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Seeing him out of the reckoning in recent weeks would have frustrated supporters.
Adam McKola of Full Time Devils expressed his annoyance during the recent 1-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion:
Adam McKola @AdamMcKola
The only width is Ashley Young and we got Anthony Martial on the bench…. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
While Martial made the spot on the left his own earlier in his United career, he now has serious competition for the berth.
He had to fight with Marcus Rashford at the beginning of the season for a starting role, while Jesse Lingard’s improvement has also made him a regular on the flanks. Factor in the January arrival of Alexis Sanchez, who also prefers to play from the left, and Martial is suddenly one of many fighting for one spot.
As noted by journalist Bill Rice, Mourinho hasn’t given Martial any reassurances about getting minutes, either:
ᗷIᒪᒪ ᖇIᑕᕮ 🎙📻 @billrice23
@BBCRMsport #MUFC boss Jose Mourinho says there is “nothing he can do” to keep the likes of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford happy, and someone has to miss out every week.
Given his age and his talent, Juventus would have to part with a massive amount of money if they wanted to land Martial, regardless of whether the player wants out of United.
The chance to join the Italian champions and get regular minutes for a huge club would surely appeal to Martial, as he’s approaching a point in his career where he’ll want to be playing every week. At the moment, it’s tough to see how United create a situation that will keep all of their attackers content.