Manchester United Transfer News: Major Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2016

Manchester United's French striker Anthony Martial (L) listens to Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney (R) during the warm up before the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 28, 2015.  / AFP / OLI SCARFF        (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Manchester United’s options at the point of the attack may be reshaped ahead of the 2016-17 season, with both Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial linked with exits.

According to Ken Lawrence of the Sunday World, the former will ask for reassurances about his long-term prospects at Old Trafford with the future of manager Louis van Gaal also unclear.

“Rooney is not pushing to leave United and has made no hint to club officials that he wants to take up a eye-watering cash offer to move to China, but his future is as unclear ahead of a summer of probable change at Old Trafford,” continues a piece summarising Lawrence’s report on the Sunday World website.

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United controls the ball during the Barclays Premier m/ match between Sunderland and Manchester United at The Stadium of Light on February 13, 2016 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Ian MacNic
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Now 30 years old, there’s no denying the United skipper is not the force of nature he once was, and while he’s still netted 14 goals for the Red Devils this season, there have been spells when he’s looked a long way off the pace in the Premier League. 

With Marcus Rashford emerging in the team with Rooney absent through injury recently, sports writer Sam Pilger is unsure whether the Red Devils need the striker any more:

There are other qualities the forward brings to the club, with experience, longevity and leadership all critical. But should a new manager come in and cast a ruthless eye over the playing staff currently available at United, then Rooney is a player who could be improved upon based on his most recent showings.

Elsewhere, it’s been reported Juventus will move for Martial this summer should they lose Alvaro Morata to Real Madrid.

That’s according to Tuttomercatoweb (h/t James Whaling of the Sunday Mirror), who said the French sensation has emerged as a surprise target for the Italian champions. Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani is also noted as a possible option for the Bianconeri should the Spain international depart.

Martial is a shock target for Juventus, according to reports.
Martial is a shock target for Juventus, according to reports.PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

As Whaling reports, Real have a buy-back clause in Morata’s contract with the Bianconeri, which could see him return to the club this summer.

Martial was drafted in by United in a surprise move in the latter stages of the summer transfer window, becoming the most expensive teenager in the game's history for an initial fee of £36 million.

Having been handed the No. 9 jersey, there was a lot of pressure on the Frenchman to perform, and in what’s been an underwhelming term for United as a whole, the former Monaco man has cemented his status as a rising star.

Van Gaal, for all his flaws, has helped nurture his precocious talent.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Louis van Gaal Manager of Manchester United shakes hands with Anthony Martial on the bench during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Stoke City at Old Trafford on February 2, 2016 in Manchest
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

It’s something the player himself touched upon recently, opening up on his manager’s leadership style. “He yells at me,” Martial said of Van Gaal to RTL (h/t Anthony Jepson of the Manchester Evening News). “It makes me laugh because I know it's for my own good.”

In front of goal he’s done brilliantly, too. As these figures from Squawka Football note, only Rooney has netted more frequently than the 20-year-old this term:

The signs are certainly positive for this young footballer, and what was labelled as a gamble of a signing by many seems to be smart business in hindsight. It makes it extremely unlikely the Red Devils would entertain any prospect of a sale whatsoever, though, with Martial earmarked for a long and bright future at the club.

Juventus are guaranteed UEFA Champions League football next season, regularly challenge for titles and have an exciting young squad meticulously assembled by Massimiliano Allegri. But while the Bianconeri has its draws, United still have an allure and certainly the financial clout to bat away any approach without too much fuss.