Man Utd to ‘agree player’s contract’ before selling them; latest on Werner transfer rumours

Joe Williams
Man Utd striker Anthony Martial
Anthony Martial looks annoyed during a Champions League match.

Manchester United are ready to activate Anthony Martial’s one-year contract extension before letting him go, according to reports.

The France international is running out of time to impress at Old Trafford after spending the last nine seasons at Old Trafford.

Martial moved to Man Utd in the summer of 2015 from French side Monaco in a deal worth £36m, which was the highest fee paid for a teenager in world football at that point.

But Martial has never quite lived up to expectations with the 27-year-old only having one fairly prolific season in which he scored 23 goals in 48 matches in all competitions.

His success in the 2019/20 campaign got fans and former players excited that he could finally be reaching his potential but Martial has scored just 19 goals in 93 appearances since.

The Man Utd striker was even sent out on loan to Sevilla for the second half of last season but he could only find the net once in 12 matches for the Spanish outfit.

READ MORE: Ten Hag sack? Or will Man Utd fan ‘dummies’ stick with him like Ole?

He did score against Everton at the weekend but Football Insider claim that Man Utd are now planning to activate his one-year contract extension before letting him leave.

The Red Devils want ‘to protect his value and prevent him leaving for free in 2024’ and Man Utd ‘would be open to letting Martial leave the club in January if they receive a suitable offer, but they would need to first bring in another striker in the new year’.

Football Insider adds: ‘If prospective new owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe chooses to sign a new forward next summer, sources say that Martial is likely to be allowed to leave.’

Man Utd journalist Andy Mitten insists the Premier League club are only getting 10 per cent of Martial’s true ability with fans shown a “tiny flicker” of his talent against Everton over the weekend.

“They do not have enough options,” Mitten said on the Football Daily Podcast. “Erik ten Hag wanted Harry Kane who didn’t come last summer.

“Anthony Martial’s got a long contract, the idea that he would move on came about when he went to Sevilla, didn’t move on and came back to Manchester United because no one is going to touch his wages.

“United fans have almost given up on him completely, but then he does well when he comes on at Everton. It’s this tiny flicker that remains.

“He’s hugely talented, but we’re getting 10% out of him – when we should be getting 70, 80 per cent.”

Timo Werner has been linked to Man Utd as they look to bring in some firepower in January but Bundesliga expert Christian Falk insists it won’t happen in the winter.

Falk wrote in his Caught Offside column: “Neither management nor the club have heard anything about United’s reported interest in Timo Werner. Werner also had bad experiences at Chelsea FC in England.

“The player is considered very sensitive. He is currently having problems at Leipzig, but first wants to regain his self-confidence. He doesn’t feel ready to move to England at the moment. Newcastle were actually already interested, but that won’t happen this winter either.”