Juventus Transfer News: Anthony Martial Linked After Rejecting United Contracts

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistOctober 19, 2018

Manchester United's French striker Anthony Martial reacts during the UEFA Champions League group H football match between Young Boys and Manchester United at The Stade de Suisse in Bern on September 19, 2018. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Anthony Martial has reportedly turned down several new contract offers from Manchester United, with Juventus one of the outfits linked with his signing as he prepares to enter the final six months of his deal.

RMC Sport (h/t Calciomercato.com) reported against recent claims Martial could extend his stay and said he had instead rejected multiple extension offers. His current contract expires in June, although United have the option to extend that by another 12 months.

The Frenchman has made five starts in eight appearances across all competitions this season. Mourinho has started Martial in United's last two league games, however, and told BT Sport (h/t Goal's Patric Ridge) after the recent 3-1 defeat at West Ham United:

"For many months people are asking for Martial, Martial, Martial.

"For many months people are saying Alexis Sanchez is not playing well enough. So this week was time to agree and to say, let's give a chance to Martial and let's leave Alexis out."

James Robson of the Evening Standard described Martial's contract extension as a matter of chief importance for the Red Devils:

James Robson @jamesrobsonES

Shaw’s new deal agreed. Now to De Gea and Martial #mufc

Martial, 22, was linked with moves away from Old Trafford in the summer after struggling to feature as prominently as he would like last season. 

The Telegraph's Luke Edwards wrote in August that the forward would be disciplined by his club for staying in France for the birth of his child—which had unexpected complications—longer than was agreed. Edwards even said Martial was "keen to quit United" due to his lack of playing time.

There's little chance Juventus would have had the resources to finance a move for Martial in the same summer that they spent £100 million to take Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.

Sports writer Tom Coast spoke in the summer of the clubs that could feasibly launch a move for Martial, and it's true Serie A champions Juve could be hampered in spending capability to some extent next summer:

Tom Coast @thcoast

Then again, #PSG have never acted logically, Bayern could decide to smash their transfer record and Juventus could end up selling all their undesirables and have the money required. There’s still a fair amount of time left in the window.

Douglas Costa, Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala are all stellar options to play off Juve's left flank. Mario Mandzukic has also featured regularly in that role for the Bianconeri, while Blaise Matuidi has too for France, though Massimiliano Allegri has shown less inclination to do so in Turin.

Needless to say, the Italian titans aren't short of options in that position right now, though Martial did also carve out a name for himself at AS Monaco as a centre-forward.

There is a counter-argument as to why a young, promising attacker isn't getting the chances some feel he deserves under Mourinho. Journalist Samuel Luckhurst recently suggested it's because he doesn't deserve to:

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

@MatrixGabbana Actually, I did. He is rightly critical about United and mostly right but his suicidal tone about them clouds his judgement. He's wondering why Martial and Rashford don't get more chances - he can't have watched them much this year, then.

It seems likely United will trigger their option to extend Martial's contract until the June 2020 and delay the issue until closer to that date, but a move to Juventus could still be a big possibility next summer all the same.