Anthony Martial has been told he can leave Manchester United – but only for the right club and the right price.
Jose Mourinho has reluctantly accepted Martial’s desire to leave United this summer after three years, even though the club’s hierarchy do not want to lose the £36million forward.
Mourinho knows it is impossible to keep Martial, given the 22-year-old’s determination to leave this summer, and has impressed this upon United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
Woodward is understood to want to keep Martial and will trigger the striker’s one-year extension clause, to protect United’s financial investment in him, if they do not receive the fee they want.
But Mourinho knows there is no value in keeping a disaffected player, although United will ensure Martial only leaves on their terms and will hold out for around £60m for him.
Chelsea, Tottenham and Bayern Munich are interested in Martial, but United are not prepared to let him go to a Premier League rival, which leaves a move abroad the likeliest prospect.
United paid Monaco £36m for Martial on transfer deadline day in the summer of 2015, with that figure rising to £58m with add-ons, which is why they want at least £60m for him.
Despite his indifferent form last season and his failure to hold down a regular place under Mourinho, United know Martial’s age and profile means they can command a big fee for him.
The forward failed to make France’s World Cup-winning squad and blamed his omission on his lack of game-time under Mourinho last season, which is why he wants to kick-start his career at a new club.
Martial played the full 90 minutes in United’s 0-0 draw with San Jose Earthquakes and is expected to keep his place for Wednesday’s clash with AC Milan in Los Angeles.
Mourinho is without several first-team players on the US tour and admitted it was difficult for him trying to prepare his squad for their opening Premier League encounter at home to Leicester on August 10.
Asked for his verdict on the drab goalless draw against San Jose Earthquakes, Mourinho said: ”It’s one more training session.
“We’re not a team. We’re a group of players from different teams. Some are first-team, some Under-23s, some coming from loans and going on loan.
“Some are younger, under-18s. We don’t have a team to play much better than we did but it’s one more training session.
”It’s difficult to have 10 players not here. Still, we try to be motivated, you try to motivate the people around you, but it’s not easy.
“It’s strange [not to have the other players] so the motivation is to try to train the best we can, to try to give the players minutes, to try to give the young players an opportunity, to develop and that’s it.”
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