Manchester United F.C on verge of signing Anthony Martial
Manchester: Manchester United are set to sign Monaco's 19-year-old Anthony Martial for a fee of £36million despite the striker having only scored a handful of goals. Martial has been given permission to leave France's international base at Clairefontaine and travel to United ahead of signing a deal.
AS Monaco forward Anthony Martial. Pic/Getty Images
United boss Louis van Gaal has been tracking the player for some time and is convinced he has enormous potential. Sources with knowledge of the deal have confirmed to PA Sport that a transfer fee of £36million has been agreed between the clubs — United made their move after Monaco failed to qualify for the Champions League group stage last week.
Martial had been called up by France coach Didier Deschamps for his squad to play friendlies against Serbia and Portugal. A statement on the French Football Federation website read: "Anthony Martial requested permission from 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." Martial is due to return to Clairefontaine today morning, the FFF added. Martial had only signed a new contract with Monaco in June but the size of the fee might explain why the club were prepared to sell him.
After he signed the new deal, Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev declared Martial as "untransferable" — Tottenham had also shown interest in the player. Vasilyev said then: "He was being contacted by some of Europe's biggest clubs but we wanted to make sure that he continues his development with AS Monaco. What Anthony has been able to achieve at just 19 years of age is impressive, to say the least, but the best is yet to come."
Martial netted nine league goals in Ligue 1 for Monaco last season and has 11 in total. Although he did not score, he was also impressive in the Champions League against Arsenal.
Hernandez, Januzaj out
Martial's arrival looks to coincide with the departure of United's Mexico striker Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez, who was pictured by German newspaper Bild arriving at Bayer Leverkusen ahead of a proposed permanent move. Hernandez, who was on loan at Real Madrid last season, is expected to sign a three-year contract. Meanwhile, it is understood Borussia Dortmund are preparing to sign United's Belgium midfielder Adnan Januzaj on loan.
Amount (in euros) Monaco paid Lyon to buy Anthony Martial in 2013
> Anthony Martial is poised to become Manchester United's third most expensive signing ever, after £59.7million man Angel Di Maria and Juan Mata (£37.1million).
> He has been frequently compared to Arsenal legend Thierry Henry
> The 19-year-old striker has slowly risen up the French international ranks having played at all youth levels and was given an international call-up a few days back for the first time by France coach Didier Deschamps for friendlies against Portugal (September 4) and Serbia (September 7).