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01st May 2018

Chelsea are the latest team to be linked with a move for Anthony Martial

Mourinho's interest in one Chelsea player could hold the key

Simon Lloyd

Another day, another Anthony Martial transfer rumour…

If reports are to be believed, the French forward looks increasingly likely to leave Manchester United this summer after failing to be a regular starter in Jose Mourinho’s side.

In the last few days alone, we’ve seen stories linking him with Juventus and Barcelona, and – God love ’em – some Arsenal fans start to get their hopes up after Martial’s tribute to their outgoing manager, Arsene Wenger.

The majority of United supporters wouldn’t want the 22-year-old to leave Old Trafford, especially not to a direct rival in the Premier League. Despite this, Chelsea, who take on United in this month’s FA Cup final, are the latest club to be credited with an interest in the player.

According to The Guardian, Martial has been earmarked by the London club’s recruitment department – still operational despite the current lack of a technical director and the uncertainty over Antonio Conte’s position as manager. They see him as a potential replacement for Eden Hazard, who has repeatedly been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

Although the report adds that United would prefer to keep the player, it also says they may be open to letting him move if he expresses a desire to leave.

In the not-too-distant past, the thought of the two clubs negotiating a transfer might have seemed far-fetched. That said, Chelsea allowed Juan Mata to move to Old Trafford in 2014 and Nemanja Matic to head north last summer. Jose Mourinho – who sanctioned the Mata deal – perhaps wouldn’t be adverse to allowing such a transfer if Martial is not in his immediate plans. The same report claims Mourinho retains an interest in Willian, which may help pave the way for the transfer to happen.

Martial was again named on the bench for United’s weekend game with Arsenal, although he did come on as a substitute in the second half of the 2-1 victory.