Several factors behind decision as exit-linked Man Utd star learns transfer fate

Date published: Wednesday 11th August 2021 8:40 - Samuel Bannister

Anthony Martial Bruno Fernandes and Daniel James celebrate Man Utd goal February 2021

Manchester United are not looking to offload Anthony Martial this summer, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferring to keep him, it has been revealed.

Martial has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford recently after a disappointing 2020-21 season. Following on from a career-best 23-goal campaign the year before, he only scored seven times in all competitions. Following the arrival of Jadon Sancho and Edinson Cavani’s commitment for another season, doubt has been cast on Martial’s future.

There has been much speculation in recent days that Inter Milan could target Martial to replace Chelsea-bound Romelu Lukaku. If the Serie A champions were able to make a decent offer – despite their financial situation – it may give United something to consider.

But it seems that Solskjaer’s side have already made their mind up without needing to fend off a bid. According to the Daily Telegraph, they “have no intention of selling” Martial in the current transfer window.

There are several reasons as to why: Marcus Rashford will miss the start of the season following shoulder surgery; Solskjaer wants to have a deep squad to cover for injuries or Covid-related absences; and a loan exit is being considered for Amad Diallo, which would leave them light if Martial left too.

Therefore, keen to have enough depth to compete on all fronts, United will keep Martial around. He will hope to demonstrate that last season was just a blip and that he can get back to his best.

While he seems unlikely to be a regular starter, he should get plenty of opportunities until Rashford returns. The first few weeks of the season could be crucial for his chances of getting gametime further down the line.

Martial, who joined United from Monaco in 2015, remains under contract until 2024, with the option for a further year. In his Red Devils career so far, he has scored 78 goals from 258 games, also providing 50 assists.

There had been rumours that United had set a fee of around £50m for Martial this summer. However, it appears they are in fact not considering his departure at all.

Solskjaer will be hoping to oversee a title challenge this season, while also aiming to go one better in a cup competition after reaching the Europa League final last season. To do so, he knows he needs depth in all areas – so Martial remains within his plans.

Man Utd in fresh attacker talks

Martial can be a useful option for United because of his ability to play as a winger or centre-forward. However, they continue to be linked with other options for the latter role, who would be more specialist.

With Cavani still a short-term solution – albeit a very good one – they know they will need to plan for the future at some stage. In that regard, they are reportedly looking at a 23-year-old Real Madrid attacker with a point to prove…

READ MOREMan Utd in fresh Real talks as Solskjaer looks ‘to turn attacker’s career around’

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