Anthony Martial’s agent, Philippe Lamboley, has told RMC Sport that his client’s time at Manchester United has come to an end. The rumours of Martial’s dissatisfaction at United had been reported for weeks, but now it‘s official.
Unfortunately, for Chelsea, Martial’s next club will be picked based on his relationship or potential relationship with the manager who is in charge, and what we have is an Antonio Conte who is rumoured to leave and Maurizio Sarri who is rumoured to arrive but the lack of certainty is bound to hinder us in the chase for the young Frenchman.
In an interview with RMC Sport, Lamboley laid it all out quite clearly and pinpointed a specific moment in January was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back.
“After thinking about all the factors and possibilities, Anthony wants to leave Manchester United. There are lots of factors, and right now it’s too early to talk about them. Manchester United want Anthony to extend his deal and do not want him to leave but we have not reached an agreement for several months.
“I think that when Manchester United, the most powerful club in the world, do not find an agreement after eight months of negotiations then they do not really want to keep such an important player in their squad. That’s why this decision has come – it’s a well-thought-out decision.
“It’s important to remember that he is under contract and that Manchester United will have the last word. We will respect the club’s decision and he will stick with his commitment to the end.
“Anthony is disappointed because he has shown his love for the club and the supporters for three seasons. Without the unconditional support of the fans he would have already asked to leave United. I think he has done his best for three years and it is important to remember that he scored 11 goals and made 10 assists in five months of last season.
“Everyone will have their opinion but I think he needs to resume his career. The time has come.”
-Philippe Lamboley; source: RMC via Guardian
This has been a long time coming, but now it’s as certain as it can get until the actual transfer — which may be a rather hefty one.
Based on his stats, and assuming the Neymar market is not the "real" one, market price ~ £75M https://t.co/L3iruwbS6b— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) June 13, 2018
Martial got off to an amazing start this season, scoring 11 goals and grabbing 10 assists. Unfortunately for him, in January, Manchester United signed Alexis Sanchez and that’s where things went downhill, to the point where Martial was not even selected to represent his country at the World Cup.
There is second part to the interview which is either more interesting or less, depending on where you stand with regards to a Martial-to-Chelsea possibility (or a Martial-Willian swap).
RMC: Are there any advanced contacts with foreign clubs?
Lamboley: Anthony has the choice, I can not say anything on the subject at the moment but you think that from the moment a player like Anthony is on the market a lot of clubs are interested. The only thing I can say is that many managers appreciate his profile and that many clubs want to show their projects to Anthony.
RMC: Which championship attracts Anthony?
Lamboley: Today, this is not the most important question. Anthony just wants to play, find happiness, a good relationship with the manager is essential.
Source: RMC Sport
On Martial’s part, that’s a very good decision. At his age and with the potential he has, moving to a club where the manager appreciates him, rather than moving to a big club just for the sake of it, is certainly the best plan of action.
For Chelsea however, this is rather concerning because of the obvious reasons that have been staring us in the face for the last month or more and have been stated repeatedly. Simply put, we still don’t know who the Chelsea manager will be next season and it’s kind of hard to sell the idea of playing for essentially a manager-less club if the player’s main criteria is the identity of the manager.
So, let’s sort out this managerial mess as soon as possible, lest we risk losing another young and talented footballer to another club à la Thomas Lemar.