Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Next move named for Man Utd forward who’s ‘not at the level many thought’, with exit to incur huge financial loss

Manchester United's Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial ahead of the Carabao Cup semi-final, second leg match at Old Trafford, Manchester.

Where a Man Utd forward who’s fallen well below expectations will wind up has been suggested amid mounting speculation he’ll be axed this summer.

Erik ten Hag does not lack for options in the final third and the Dutchman will soon see his forward line swell even further.

Indeed, a new centre-forward is believed to be Man Utd’s top priority this summer. Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Tottenham talisman Harry Kane are high on United’s list.

A striker signing may spell the end for loanee Wout Weghorst. The Dutchman’s loan from Burnley does not contain an option to buy anyway, though United could negotiate a permanent arrival from scratch if they desire.

However, with a new hitman coming and Marcus Rashford thriving in a central role, Weghorst’s time at Old Trafford will likely be up.

Another who could follow Weghorst out of Old Trafford is Anthony Martial.

READ MORE: Ten Hag crazy about sneaky €100m Man Utd transfer that’ll deliver dagger to Chelsea with No 7 shirt reserved for star

Two sources tip Martial to leave

The Frenchman, 27, was named by the Manchester Evening News as being up for sale back in February. talkSPORT subsequently backed up the claim Martial is on the chopping block.

Martial was signed from Monaco for an initial £36m (rising to approx. £58m through add-ons) back in 2015. The Frenchman showed early promise, though injury issues and a general loss of form have prevented him from ever realising his true potential.

Now, writing for Caught Offside, CBS Sports’ French football expert, Jonathan Johnson, tipped Martial to return to France when the time comes.

Martial is unlikely to have suitors from England queueing up given how his spell at United has turned out. Furthermore, his loan stint in Spain with Sevilla last term can only be described as a failure.

Martial scored just once in 12 appearances in what was – somewhat predictably – an injury-ravaged six months in Seville.

As such, Johnson labelled a return to France a “smart move” for a player who has all too often flattered to deceive.

READ MORE: Man Utd on verge of signing after breezing past Chelsea with ‘breakthrough’ in negotiations

Man Utd striker “not at the level many thought”

“Expectations were sky-high for Anthony Martial when he arrived at Manchester United and made a fast start to life,” wrote Johnson.

“He was in great form with Monaco and that continued at Old Trafford. However, once that wore off, it was clear that he was perhaps not at the level many thought he was at based on his early form.

“Mixed with behavioural issues and injuries, it has been a tough past few years and he has lost his way at international level too.

“A return to Ligue 1 could be a smart move for him given that his LaLiga experience was not a roaring success.”

Sale to prompt huge financial loss

If Martial does depart, United will stand zero chance of recouping anywhere near the £58m (including add-ons) they paid Monaco.

His woeful injury record will cut into his valuation, along with the fact he’s now 27 and no longer a bright young prospect.

Furthermore, his deal is due to expire at the end of next season, meaning United’s bargaining position isn’t all that strong.

United do hold an option to extend Martial’s stay by another 12 months, though that would leave themselves open to saddling Ten Hag with an unwanted player in the event a buyer can’t be found.

Online outlet Transfermarkt state Martial’s current valuation is just €15m (approx. £13.25m).