Anthony Martial Reportedly Offered New Man United Contract Amid Exit Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2018

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19:  Martin Montoya of Brighton and Hove Albion and Anthony Martial of Manchester United battle for the ball during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester United at American Express Community Stadium on August 19, 2018 in Brighton, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has reportedly offered a new five-year contract to Anthony Martial. 

According to RMC (h/t Get French Football News), Woodward rates Martial highly and is keen to see him stay at the club despite speculation regarding an exit. The Frenchman's current deal at United is set to expire next summer, although there is an option for the club to extend this by another year.

However, RMC reported that United manager Jose Mourinho wants to see Martial leave the club, while the player himself is also open to an exit.

Atletico Madrid and AC Milan are noted as teams that made a move for the 22-year-old this summer, while Mourinho was also said to be ready to include the former Monaco man as part of packages for possible deals involving Chelsea winger Willian and Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld coming to Old Trafford.

As relayed by Get French Football News, the situation is a far from ideal for the United No. 11:

Get French Football News @GFFN

Manchester United attacker Anthony Martial is actively being used as a pawn in a war between Ed Woodward & José Mourinho - stunning story from RMC https://t.co/jc43XFrWHQ

Martial's future has been a hot topic of discussion throughout the summer, and speculation about a strained relationship between he and Mourinho gathered pace when the Frenchman was fined for attending the birth of his child without the manager's say so.

Amid all the rumours have been a tough start to the season for United. After battling past Leicester City on the opening day, they slumped to a 3-2 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion before being swept aside 3-0 by Tottenham Hotspur on home soil Monday night.

As noted by Adam Crafton of the Daily Mail, as the Red Devils failed to find an attacking spark in Monday's match, Martial was nowhere to be seen:

Adam Crafton @AdamCrafton_

Man United needed to score three goals and Mourinho called for Fellaini while Rashford sits on the bench and Mata and Martial not in the squad. Seems a fitting epitaph.

Few would've anticipated the forward being in this position after his spectacular debut season for the club.

Martial arrived as a teenager and tore up the Premier League under the guidance of Louis van Gaal in the 2015-16 campaign. Mourinho arrived that summer and since then the form of the Frenchman has stagnated.

Last season Martial actually started the campaign well before falling behind Marcus Rashford in the pecking order. The January arrival of Alexis Sanchez further limited his chances in the first team, prompting more talk about a possible exit.

Alex Shaw of ESPN believes a different manager is needed to get the best out of talents like Martial and Pogba:

Alex Shaw @AlexShawESPN

Incredibly, one of the things that's clear is that United are, in terms of talent and technical ability, atrocious in defence. Most passes are back to the keeper, a hoof or misplaced. Zidane isn't sorting that out, but he may get a tune from Pogba/Martial.

Given the way the start to the season has gone for United, the fact the deadline for adding players has passed and how popular Martial remains with some sections of the club's support, letting him move on now would be a gamble on the part of the Red Devils.

Even so, it appears that while Mourinho remains in charge at Old Trafford, Martial will continue to be limited in his playing time and shackled by the Portuguese's tactics when on the field. Something will have to give soon enough.