Transfer window potential deals
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Anthony Martial reportedly rejected the chance to join Lyon on loan on deadline day and he instead wants to prove his worth at Manchester United. The Frenchman has found himself fighting for his future at Old Trafford following the shock return of Cristiano Ronaldo but he does not want to turn his back on the club.
Martial was heavily criticised on his first start of the season recently as the Red Devils were held to a 1-1 draw at Southampton.
On what was a frustrating afternoon for title-chasing United, he was handed a vote of confidence from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who trusted him to lead the line through the middle at St Mary’s.
However, Martial flattered to deceive on the back of an underwhelming campaign last term and his opportunities are likely to be limited this season unless he ups his game.
French newspaper L’Equipe are reporting tonight that Martial received a late offer from Lyon to join the Ligue 1 club on loan but he has decided to snub the move.
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The player was given the chance to weigh up the move but his decision was to stay loyal to United.
Solskjaer’s long list of attacking options has got smaller today though following Daniel James’ £30m move to Leeds.
Ronaldo is expected to battle Edinson Cavani for a central role, leaving Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood, Martial and Jesse Lingard to fight for the wide spots.
There has previously been interest from the likes of Inter Milan and Juventus for Martial but speculation was minimal this summer.
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Speaking ahead of the 5-1 thrashing of Leeds, Solskjaer made it clear he is still a big fan of Martial despite his inconsistent form.
“As I’ve said before we really rate Anthony,” Solskjaer stated. “Last season was disappointing, we had injuries, he lost some form, the season before he was our top scorer.
“If Anthony is taking all the penalties, or Marcus Rashford last season would have taken all the penalties, that’s another 10-15 goals for a centre forward but we’ve got Bruno [Fernandes] who’s so confident on pens that you can’t take that away from him really.
“I’m very confident and I like what I see from Anthony when I see him in training now, and when I see him in the gym he has that little bit of grit between his teeth again.”
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Martial missed the final 10 league matches of the season last term after sustaining a knee injury while on international duty with France.
He has failed to build on the 23 goals he scored for United in the 2019/20 season, his strongest campaign in English football to date.
When quizzed on whether Solskjaer would consider offers for Martial, he made it clear he is part of his plans.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if other teams targeted Anthony, he’s a very very good player,” Solskjaer said. “He has come back strong, hungry and determined to prove his fitness and quality.
“Last season was a difficult one for him and you can see that little bit of grit through his teeth again. He’s up for the challenge, he’s a Man Utd player and we’re happy we have him. He’s proved doubters wrong so many times.”
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