Juventus Vice-Chairman Spotted Meeting with Anthony Martial's Representative

Alex Keble@alexkebleFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2018

Chelsea's Danny Drinkwater, left, challenges for the ball with Manchester United's Anthony Martial during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Chelsea at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Rui Vieira/Associated Press

Anthony Martial is back in the transfer gossip columns after Juventus' vice-chairman Pavel Nedved was spotted liaising with one of the Manchester United forward's representatives hours before the Old Lady's match against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night, per Calciomercato.

Nelio Lucas, who represents Martial and had a "key part" in bringing the Frenchman to Old Trafford from AS Monaco in 2015, per Metro, was spotted speaking to Nedved in a London hotel. 

Calciomercato reported that Martial's market value is too high, around £62 million, for Juventus, although the France international is described as a "former target" of the club.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

This follows a report by Paul Hirst for The Times on Wednesday in which United are said to have begun talks over a new contract, with Juventus ready to pounce. The club are reportedly keen to keep hold of the winger, whose current deal expires in the summer of 2019, despite Jose Mourinho rarely picking the Frenchman in recent weeks.

Martial has started 16 league matches this season and made a further 10 appearances from the bench, grabbing nine goals and five assists in that time. However, he has been named as a substitute in three of the last five United matches in all competitions in which he has been available.

Having missed the Premier League match at Crystal Palace on March 5 through injury, Martial should be back in time for Saturday's north-west derby against Liverpool

Juventus, meanwhile, have cut Napoli's lead at the top of Serie A to just one point following their last-gasp 1-0 victory at Lazio on March 3, and they are through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Frank Augstein/Associated Press

Rumours that Martial could depart have circulated for some time. United reportedly rejected a swap deal offer from Arsenal with Alexis Sanchez moving in the opposite direction, per Jamie Gordon for The Sun. Along with the emerging reports in The Times and Calciomercato, a theme linking Juventus with Martial is certainly developing.

Martial has plenty of time left on his current deal, while United have the option to extend his contract by a year, and so reports that the club are willing to sit down with the 22-year-old suggest they believe the Juventus threat to be real.  

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