Jose Mourinho Comments on Anthony Martial Tour Departure Amid Exit Rumours

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2018

SANTA CLARA, CA - JULY 22:  Anthony Martial #11 of Manchester United battles for contol of the ball with Danny Hoesen #9 of the San Jose Earthquakes during the first half of their exhibition soccer game at Levi's Stadium on July 22, 2018 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho revealed on Wednesday that Anthony Martial told him of his plans to depart the club's pre-season tour of the United States for the birth of his second child "two or three days ago." 

Per Metro's Sean Kearns, the Portuguese was said to be unhappy with Martial's decision amid reports the French winger wants to leave the club, but Mourinho clarified the situation:

"I found out that Martial was going to Paris when he told me. [That] was two or three days ago. When it is personal reasons, everyone analyses that the way they think is the correct way and when a man is going to be a father. In this case, it's the second time he is going to be a father, and he decides it is very important for him to go. Nobody has the right to stop him to go."

Chris Wheeler in the Daily Mail reported when Martial left the U.S. for Paris that Mourinho was "fuming over the situation" and planned to sell the winger to fund new signings, adding that United would demand an £80 million fee for the 22-year-old.

While Mourinho's latest comments have made it clear Martial did not leave on a whim and without permission, the former Monaco man's future at Old Trafford still looks in the balance.

CARSON, CA - JULY 25: Manager Jose Mourinho of Manchester United paces the sideline during the International Champions Cup 2018 match against the AC Milan at StubHub Center on July 25, 2018 in Carson, California. Manchester United defeated AC Milan 9-8 on
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Martial has never been a consistent starter under the former Chelsea boss.

Twelve of his 30 Premier League appearances last season came from the bench, and he was pushed further down the pecking order after Alexis Sanchez's January arrival.

According to James Robson of the Manchester Evening News, Mourinho would be open to selling Martial this summer.

It would likely not be a popular move at Old Trafford if Martial were to leave because he is a fan favourite. But if Mourinho is not prepared to give him regular game time, his departure may be the only option.