Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd twist emerges in expected exit for attacker as clever Ratcliffe transfer tactic takes shape

Man Utd attackers Anthony Martial and Alejandro Garnacho, manager Erik ten Hag

Manchester United are reportedly ready to activate Anthony Martial’s one-year contract extension clause and then let him go if a suitable replacement is found.

The Red Devils are being tipped to extend the Frenchman’s stay at Old Trafford in order to protect his value and stop him from leaving as a free agent in the summer of 2024.

It was reported earlier in the week that the 27-year-old’s future, with Martial having been at United since 2015, is still to be decided.

And while they are open to letting him leave in January if a suitable offer comes in, the fact that Ten Hag would then need to add another attacker makes things more complicated.

To that end, Football Insider reports that United are prepared to activate Martial’s one-year option, knowing full well that they still intend to sell.

They state that if prospective new part owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe chooses to sign a new forward next summer, Martial is likely to be allowed to leave.

United do not want to leave themselves short from January though, with summer signing Rasmus Hojlund yet to score in the Premier League in nine outings despite performing well in Europe.

Martial teases quality at Goodison

Martial started last weekend’s clash at Everton and scored after a fine team move to show he still has what it takes to be a handful at Premier League level.

His goal against the Merseysiders was, however, just his second in 16 appearances across all competitions this season.

The former Monaco man, who has been linked with Turkish side Fenerbahce, is not exactly proving value for money though, earning a reported wage of around £250,000-a-week at Old Trafford.

Martial has racked up 90 goals and added 55 assists in 314 appearances since joining for an initial fee of £38.5million eight years. However, there can be no argument that he has not really fulfilled the potential that prompted United to splash out big money back in 2015.

Hojlund has now replaced the attacker as Ten Hag’s undisputed first-choice forward this season but the fact he remains scoreless domestically still means Martial has some value to the club.

United are back in action on Saturday evening when they head to Newcastle in the Premier League.

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