Anthony Martial on Wednesday finally confirmed his return to Manchester United with a tweet, but in the same post lay a snipe at manager Jose Mourinho, which has gotten fans worried that the French winger’s time at Old Trafford is effectively up.
Martial flew back from the Red Devils’ tour of the United States last week to attend the birth of his child—Swan Martial—with partner Melanie da Cruz.
And while the 22-year-old did indeed have permission, Mourinho wasn’t shy at expressing his disappointment at the winger’s decision to stay on even after the birth.
With the likes of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku all on vacation following their exploits at the World Cup, the Portuguese manager had very few senior options while going forward.
It’s no secret that Martial and Mourinho don’t see eye-to-eye, for the Frenchman has found playing time incredibly hard to come by in the two seasons that the Special One has been in charge of the Red Devils.
Mourinho, who’s reportedly looking for a winger and a central defender, went on to admit that he would be willing to offload Martial if the price was right and if United got one of their targets.
However, with United unlikely to accept a bid south of £80 million for a player they paid £56 million three years ago, there are a precious few clubs who will not be priced out.
To further complicate matters, United are reportedly going to fine the Frenchman £180,000 for failing to inform the club over his delayed return.
Here’s the tweet, in which Martial warns everyone that ‘family comes first’:
Merci à tous pour vos messages. Mon petit Swan va bien, pour la maman ça était plus difficile mais Grâce à Dieu elle va mieux maintenant. Desolé mais ma famille passera toujours avant Tout… Retour demain à Manchester 💪🏾
— Anthony Martial (@AnthonyMartial) August 1, 2018
Written in his native French–the tweet–after translation, reads: “Thank you all for your posts. My little Swan is fine, for the mom it was harder but thanks to God she’s better now. Sorry but my family will always come first… Back tomorrow in Manchester.”
Things are certainly getting awkward for the club, but will they really let go of a player with such immense talent? It’s easy to forget that he’s still 22 and his best years are definitely ahead of him.
With Alexis Sanchez looking rejuvenated in the summer and Lukaku coming off the back of a solid World Cup, Martial could form a formidable front three with them, in theory at least.
The transfer deadline is exactly a week away and while Martial’s agent has made it clear that his client wants a move, he may just have to stick around for another year since United are unlikely to sign an attacking player now.