Martial in talks with Man Utd
Monaco forward Anthony Martial has been given permission by France coach Didier Deschamps “to travel to England to sign a contract with Manchester United”, the French Football Federation announced on Monday.
The 19-year-old striker was given an international call-up for the first time by Deschamps for the friendly games against Portugal and Serbia.
Martial, who joined Monaco in 2013 from Lyon, has slowly risen up the French international ranks having played at all youth levels.
A statement on the French Football Federation website read: “Anthony Martial requested permission from Didier Deschamps to travel to England to sign a contract with Manchester United.
“Given the exceptional circumstances, the coach has agreed to the request of the player.”
Martial is due to return to the French training base at Clairefontaine, south of Paris, on Tuesday morning, ahead of their friendlies against Serbia and Portugal.
Reports have said that Manchester United could be willing to pay up to 50 million euros (£36 million, $56 million) for Martial, who cost Monaco just 5 million euros when they bought him from Lyon.
United manager Louis van Gaal has been tracking Martial for some time and made his move after Monaco failed to qualify for the Champions League group stages.
Martial had only signed a new contract with Monaco in June, prompting the club’s vice-president Vadim Vasilyev to declare the forward as “untransferable”.
“He was being contacted by some of Europe’s biggest clubs but we wanted to make sure that he continues his development with AS Monaco. What Anthony has been able to achieve at just 19 years of age is impressive, to say the least, but the best is yet to come,” Vasilyev said.
But United’s willingness to pay such a large fee appears to have persuaded Monaco to change their minds.
After missing out on Barcelona’s Spain winger Pedro Rodriguez, who snubbed United to join Chelsea recently, van Gaal has set his sights on Martial.
Armed with bundles of cash from the lucrative broadcast deals available to Premier League clubs, United are able to take a gamble on a player whose potential is yet to be fulfilled.
Martial netted just nine league goals in Ligue 1 for Monaco last season, and has 11 in total, while also showing a glimpse of his talent in the club’s Champions League win against Arsenal.
Martial’s arrival looks to coincide with the departure of United’s Mexico striker Javier Hernandez, who was pictured by German newspaper Bild arriving at Bayer Leverkusen ahead of a proposed permanent move.
Hernandez, who was on loan at Real Madrid last season, is expected to sign a three-year contract.
Meanwhile, it has also been reported that Borussia Dortmund are set to sign United’s young Belgian international forward Adnan Januzaj on loan.