Monaco striker Anthony Martial has been given permission by the French Football Federation to leave international duty to complete his transfer to Manchester United.
The £36 million deal ‒ which could rise to £58m with bonuses ‒ will see the 19-year-old replace Javier Hernandez after the striker joined Bayer Leverkusen in a £12m move on Sunday.
A statement read: ‘Anthony Martial presented himself on Monday at 11am at the gathering of the French national team at Clairefontaine. He requested the permission of Didier Deschamps to travel to England to sign a contract with Manchester United.
Given the exceptional circumstances, the coach has agreed to the request of the player. Anthony Martial left Clairefontaine on Monday at 12pm. He will return on Tuesday morning.’
Martial moved to Monaco from Lyon in a deal worth just £3.6m two years ago, but the youngster has scored 11 goals in 43 appearances for Leonardo Jardim’s club and is currently rated as one of the most exciting prospects in French football.
The 19-year-old, who has been compared in style to Thierry Henry, played for Monaco against Paris St Germain on Sunday night. He was the subject of a failed £19 million offer from Tottenham earlier this summer and has been watched by Chelsea also.
Former Monaco sporting director/ex-scout Tor-Kristian Karlsen’s had these thoughts on Martial:
There is more than a hint of panic to this bid from United. Thirty six million pounds is a lot of money for an unproven 19-year-old striker, especially when Spurs bid half of that earlier this summer.
But Woodward and United have painted themselves in a corner where they realistically need to bring in two strikers. Martial sounds like someone for the future, but United need goalscoring help now!
I am not convinced that Martial is the answer for United this season. Potentially having Martial on the right, Rooney down the middle and Memphis on the left, gives United have an attacking trio that can attack teams with speed.
But that is a huge risk for van Gaal, as he has put his future and the teams title hopes in the hands of a 19-year-old and 21-year-old.
What do you think of the signing of Martial?