Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Expensive Man Utd star wanted in stunning upgrade to Euro giants; Ten Hag, Ratcliffe ready to sell

Man Utd stars Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Martial

Manchester United may finally be able to shift Anthony Martial this month despite the forward already rejecting three exit routes, though a stunning step-up to a Euro giant must overcome several hurdles before crossing the line.

Martial cost the Red Devils an initial £36m when signed from Monaco way back in 2015. The agreement contained several add-ons that could’ve seen the fee hit £58m. Ultimately, many of the add-ons were missed, meaning the final fee topped out at £44.7m.

Nonetheless, that still represented a significant outlay for a player who has underwhelmed during the vast bulk of his time at Old Trafford.

Martial’s current contract expires next summer and United have no intention of activating their 12-month option.

As such, the Frenchman could potentially leave for nothing at season’s end. The alternative is United cashing in while they still can this month.

The Athletic recently revealed Marseille, Fenerbahce and unnamed Saudi Arabian sides had all made approaches for the 28-year-old. Unfortunately for Man Utd, Martial rejected them all.

The Athletic suggested Martial’s current stance is he’d prefer to run down his contract and explore the free agent market. Doing so would likely give him a broader selection of clubs to choose from.

However, according to Italian outlet Calciomercato, a far sexier option in the form of Inter Milan is emerging.

Inter were Champions League finalists last term and currently top the table in Serie A. Joining Inter mid-season could conceivably result in Martial lifting the first league title of his career just six months later.

Inter’s admiration of Martial is long-standing and Calciomercato acknowledge Man Utd are open to severing ties with Martial this month.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s partial takeover was announced on Christmas Eve and is now awaiting Premier League approval. It stands to reason that if Ratcliffe and/or Ten Hag wanted Martial to stay, the one-year option in his deal would have been triggered.

Inter have a recent history of signing ageing ex-Man Utd players. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alexis Sanchez are both on their books right now.

But before Martial to Inter can advance, the report points out several key hurdles that must first be overcome.

Martial to Inter obstacles revealed

Firstly, it’s claimed Inter moving for Martial would likely hinge on selling Sanchez first. The Chilean is a confirmed target for the Saudi Pro League, though whether that interest turns into an actual move remains to be seen.

Furthermore, Martial would have to be willing to take a sizeable pay-cut to make the deal viable for Inter who aren’t flush with cash right now.

Finally, Man Utd would have to be willing to accept either a tiny transfer fee, or even a free switch.

That might sound preposterous, though Tottenham’s Eric Dier did complete a transfer to Bayern Munich on Thursday without an up-front fee being paid.

Like Martial, Dier was out of contract at season’s end, and Tottenham agreed to a free transfer that contained potential add-ons worth a couple of million euros.

All in all, Martial joining Inter this month does look a difficult deal to achieve. However, the opportunity to join a club the calibre of Inter at this stage in Martial’s career might not be there come the summer.

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