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Martial ‘abandons’ Manchester United pre-season as departure rumours intensify

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José Mourinho’s man management skills strike again!

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Manchester United v San Jose Earthquakes Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Manchester United take on AC Milan in Southern California tonight (Wednesday), but they do so without Anthony Martial, who has flown back to England, possibly without proper authorization, as he’s seemingly pushing for a transfer.

Martial had good reason to leave: he was attending the birth of his child. But, according to the Telegraph, he gave “late notice” (timing of births can be hard to predict, in fairness) and United “failed to confirm or deny whether he had received permission”. With the player “unlikely to return” to the US to rejoin the team, the situation is being “perceived as an attempt to try to force a way out of Old Trafford, even if the motivation to leave was understandable”.

Things are even more dramatic in the Times’ rendition, who describe the already “strained” relationship between player and manager, as at a “breaking point”, with Mourinho “angry” and “deeply unhappy” and Martial having “no intention” of returning. Phew.

D-R-A-M-A.

Martial has been linked mainly with Chelsea, Spurs, Bayern, and PSG, but the new reports agree with the old ones in that Mourinho would prefer to not sell to a direct rival.

However, Chelsea could yet have an ace in the hole, as Willian continues to be linked with a Mourinho reunion, especially with Barcelona ending their pursuit yesterday. Tabloids already claim that United are willing to pay upwards of £60m.

Or maybe we could just trade the two wantaway players? I would heartily welcome that option, even if Chelsea were to throw in a few extra million to sweeten the deal. Giving Martial to Sarri to mould into an efficient goal-scoring machine would be a tremendous boon for the team.

Perhaps this is too good of an option to ever come true. Still, if Martial is hell-bent on wanting to leave, then we should be all over this.