Jose Mourinho's Warning for Anthony Martial Amid Manchester United Exit Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 23, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 19: Anthony Martial of Manchester Untied during the FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on May 19, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has warned Anthony Martial you "cannot do whatever you want in life" as confusion surrounds the forward's future, with reports indicating the club are only willing to sell outside England.

Mourinho spoke to the media after Sunday's pre-season stalemate against the San Jose Earthquakes, where he was asked for his take on Martial's future, per Goal's Sacha Pisani:

"You cannot do whatever you want in life. I would love to arrive in Los Angeles, to train in Los Angeles and play all my five matches in Los Angeles, and then don't travel, don't change hotel and then go back to Manchester.

"I would like to play against Leicester on Sunday, but I have to play on Friday, so you don't get always in life what you want."

Jamie Jackson of the Guardian wrote that Mourinho's stance on Martial's departure has changed, and he believes a sale should be explored if the player wants out, though he won't sell to a Premier League rival.

He added that any offers for the player are likely to begin at £50 million, with the transfer windows in most of Europe's top leagues set to run until August 31, while the Premier League window shuts on August 9.

The Mirror (h/t Greg Johnson of Football.London) reported United will trigger a one-year extension clause to keep Martial, 22, at the club until 2020. Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur all said to be interested in his signature.

Johnson included quotes from Martial's agent, Philippe Lamboley, who told RMC Sport in June: "After reflecting carefully on all the possibilities and all the parameters, Anthony has decided he wants to leave Manchester United."

The absence of those players still on holiday after the 2018 FIFA World Cup has meant Martial has started both United's pre-season games so far. However, journalists were critical of him and others during Sunday's disappointing 0-0 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes:

Tom McDermott @MrTomMcDermott

I want Martial to be a success but he’s been atrocious this evening. #MUFC

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

Only pre-season etc. but #mufc so devoid of creativity. Martial not cutting it up front and has been attack overly reliant on Sanchez. A new forward is essential but that was known in May.

On one hand, Mourinho's comments and the club's apparent will to keep the player shows a certain amount of faith that there is still belief in Martial, although refusing to let a disgruntled player leave could backfire.

It's been three years since the Frenchman moved for a deal that could potentially cost £58 million, and BBC Sport's Simon Stone highlighted the ongoing trust there is in the 2015 Golden Boy winner:

Simon Stone @sistoney67

Martial stories from guys around Man Utd in LA underline club desire to keep him as talent as yet unfulfilled. He has to start producing consistently though.

Martial started in the striker role for a 1-1 draw against Club America and the more recent stalemate in San Jose, but he was largely restricted to playing off the left flank last season as Romelu Lukaku played up top.

Bleacher Report's Rob Blanchette looked to some of the other big misses Mourinho has made in his career in terms of abandoning top talent:

Rob Blanchette @_Rob_B

I think Martial is done at #MUFC - as Salah and De Bruyne were cooked at Chelsea. The parallels are clear. Mourinho struggles with certain types of flair players. His system demands pragmatism. Not skill and guile. #mufcpreseason

The arrival of Alexis Sanchez in January was thought to have only exacerbated Martial's issues at the club, a move that saw him shifted to the right wing for a time and will have only intensified any ambition to leave.

The transfer rumours don't seem likely to die down anytime soon, and Mourinho's softened stance on the matter could see his star leave, although only clubs from outside England are likely to stand a chance.