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Manchester United Transfer News: Latest on Anthony Martial's Juventus Rumours

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2018

France's forward Anthony Martial arrives at the French national football team training base in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines, on March 19, 2018, as part of the  preparation for the team's upcoming friendly matches. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE        (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Juventus have reportedly already opened negotiations for Manchester United forward Anthony Martial, positioning themselves as favourites for his signature.

According to Turin-based Tuttosport (via Football Italia), the Bianconeri plan to use midfielder Blaise Matuidi to convince fellow France international Martial to move to Italy.

Rumours the former AS Monaco man could be on his way out continue to intensify, and per Bleacher Report's Dean Jones, the international break gave him the chance to think about his future:

B/R Football @brfootball

Anthony Martial's future under Jose Mourinho is becoming more and more unclear—should he walk away from Manchester United? @DeanJonesBR https://t.co/hUg8ydUkA0 https://t.co/kaBAhWfslX

The 22-year-old has been at Old Trafford for several seasons but is yet to establish himself as an automatic starter.

Manager Jose Mourinho has handed him plenty of minutes, but in the key contests, he's mostly come off the bench. He played less than 25 combined minutes over two legs against Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League.

Despite his lack of consistent playing time, the Frenchman has been effective in front of goal:

Manchester United @ManUtd

.@JesseLingard 1️⃣3️⃣ @MarcusRashford 1️⃣2️⃣ @AnthonyMartial 1️⃣1️⃣ The race to finish the season as #MUFC's second top goalscorer is on! ➡️ https://t.co/tKOcuQAAIp https://t.co/leXbfA1DHG

Mourinho has often played Martial as a winger, but he remains most efficient as a central option. Martial's great movement skills make him an excellent fit as a secondary striker, roaming the areas surrounding an ace inside the box.

At Juventus, he could fill such a role, with Gonzalo Higuain playing in front of him. There have been growing rumours in the Spanish press (via Football Italia) that Paulo Dybala could be on his way out this summer, and Martial could be a versatile and cheaper replacement.

He wouldn't be the first prospect to unlock his full potential with the Bianconeri, who have done a fine job with the likes of Paul Pogba and Alvaro Morata the last few years. Martial could be another player the club might take a chance on for a relatively low fee, knowing they could flip him for a profit at a later date.

He has shown his talent on many occasions for the Red Devils:

Manchester United @ManUtd

Nothing but net when @AnthonyMartial gets in these positions - isn't that right, #MartialFC? 🥅 His top 10 @PremierLeague goals are available to watch in full on #MUFCYouTube: https://t.co/GtLNwq9jjz https://t.co/INriVYGuA4

But Mourinho still doesn't seem fully convinced by the speedster, and the longer the situation persists, the more value he'll lose. Juventus―and other potential buyers―know this and will enter negotiations from a position of strength.

The Old Lady could also take a different route by proposing a player swap, taking advantage of United's reported interest in Alex Sandro, per Samuel Luckhurst for the Manchester Evening News. The Red Devils would likely have to include some cash in the deal to make it work, but thanks to Martial's age and upside, that amount shouldn't be too great.

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