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Mourinho tried to swap Martial for Willian, but Woodward refused — report

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So close!

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

If reports from French media this week are to be believed, Chelsea came fairly close to being an early beneficiary of the Mourinho Third Season at Manchester United, as The Special On(c)e pushed for the sale of Anthony Martial. According to RMC (via GFFN), United CEO Ed Woodward overruled Mourinho by rejecting bids from Atlético Madrid and AC Milan, as well as refusing potential swap scenarios with Chelsea (for Willian) and Spurs (for Alderweireld).

In an ultimate power move, Woodward has even offered a new 5-year deal to Martial, though the 22-year-old reportedly still wants out post haste, especially if, by some divine providence, Mourinho stays employed into 2019.

Should that situation not improve for the most expensive teenager in football history, Chelsea would do well to keep a close eye on Old Trafford and close tabs on Martial himself. A Willian-swap could still make sense, even if he is supposedly a lot happier now that Conte is history (though it would be pretty funny if Willian did end up at United, only for Mourinho to be sacked and replaced by Conte, but I digress).

In the meantime, grab some popcorn. We have seen this episode of the Mourinho Show before, but now that it does not involve Chelsea, it’s a lot more amusing.