Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd forward offered lifeline by Ligue 1 duo as Ten Hag picks replacement for definite leaver

Anthony Martial and Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag is ready to find a replacement for Anthony Martial

Ahead of his departure from Manchester United in the summer, two suitors have already come forward for Anthony Martial, according to a report.

Man Utd will decline the option to extend Martial’s contract for another year, meaning he will be available on a free transfer by the end of the season.

It will be a disappointing end to a once-promising Man Utd career, which we recently explored the highs and lows of in anticipation of his nine-year stay coming to a conclusion.

While Martial’s Man Utd exit seems a foregone conclusion, where he will go next remains to be seen. But some clues are starting to emerge.

For example, Martial’s former club Monaco are becoming interested in offering him a second spell, according to The Sun.

Monaco previously enjoyed Martial’s services for two years, in which he scored 15 goals from 70 games, before selling him to Man Utd for a record fee for a teenager in 2015.

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They are not the only contenders to take him back to Ligue 1, though, since another suitor from the most recent transfer window hasn’t gone away.

Indeed, Marseille are keeping an eye on how Martial recovers from injury, which scuppered their chances of signing him in January.

Martial is not expected to be back in action for another month, but will be hoping to add to his 317 Man Utd appearances and 90 goals before he is released.

Either Marseille or Monaco would be allowed to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with Martial right now if they wanted to, but it seems the decision will wait until the summer.

Ligue 1 return on cards for Martial

During his time in Ligue 1 before, between spells with Lyon and Monaco, Martial scored 11 goals from 52 appearances.

As a Premier League player, he has scored 63 goals from 209 appearances, but the last season in which he hit double figures was 2019/20.

His departure from Man Utd is arguably overdue, but at the age of 28, he should still have several years of his playing career ahead of him, in which he will hope to prove at another club that he can still be an asset.

Either Monaco or Marseille could have European football on offer next season. The former are currently in Ligue 1’s Champions League places, and the latter are only a handful of points away from UEFA territory with 13 games of the season still to go.

Martial has played in the Champions League and Europa League for Man Utd, even winning the latter in 2016/17, so what Monaco and Marseille qualify for next season might be a factor to consider when choosing his next club.

For now, there are no details about the length of contract or salary that could be on offer from either suitor.

They will have to take into account his injury history, which has been a factor preventing his progress with Man Utd, and measure it against his ability when at his best.

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Who could replace Martial?

Although he has only started five Premier League games this season, Martial would leave a void in the Man Utd attack.

The only other recognised centre-forward at Erik ten Hag’s disposal is Rasmus Hojlund, who is starting to find his feet after a challenging start to his Man Utd career.

A new striker will need to arrive in the summer and with that in mind, The Sun refers to Ten Hag’s interest in reuniting with his former Ajax frontman Brian Brobbey.

Brobbey returned to Ajax in 2022 after a short spell with RB Leipzig and would be another long-term investment at the age of 22.

He has scored 17 goals in 28 games for an inconsistent Ajax side this season, backing up a 14-goal campaign last time out.

Previously, during his first spell at the club, Brobbey scored six goals from 17 appearances under Ten Hag.

Brobbey would not be the first player with an Ajax past that Ten Hag has tried to reunite with, after bringing the likes of Lisandro Martinez, Antony and Andre Onana to Man Utd.

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