According to British newspaper Metro, Arsenal are demanding Manchester United to include Anthony Martial in their offer for Alexis Sanchez, who looks set to leave the club this month.
It is understood that United have made an offer of £25 million this week, and would be even willing to include Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the deal. However, Arsene Wenger has his eyes set on his fellow Frenchman Martial.
Martial was made the most expensive teenager at the time when United signed him from Monaco for a fee of £36m in 2015.
Youth product of Lyon, he was already a household name in France as he contributed a lot in the 2014/15 Monaco side, which made it to the quarterfinals of Champions League by knocking out Arsenal.
The winger, who can also be used as a striker, played up to 48 games across all competitions during the season, scoring 12 goals in the process.
He immediately became a key player under then United manager Louis van Gaal, making 49 appearances in his debut season. The Frenchman ending up scoring a career-high 17 goals, which earned him a spot in the France’s Euro 2016 squad.
However, the 22-year-old’s playing time has been cut short since Jose Mourinho took over in the following summer. He only made 25 league appearances under the Portuguese last season, and only scored four goals as he struggled with confidence.
Although he is now playing a lot more this season, the rumors of an exit from Old Trafford has not completely gone away.
In fact, the recent rumors suggest there are problems brewing between Martial and Mourinho due to an incident that occurred during a 3-1 win over Arsenal back in December.
The player allegedly called his manager a b**** after he was substituted in the 69th minute of the match, which didn’t please Mourinho.
Arsenal are closely monitoring the situation, and will try to take full advantage of it since Sanchez looks set for an exit this month before the winter transfer windows end.
United entered the race for Sanchez’s signature recently, who seemed ready for a move to Manchester City just a week ago.
It appears that City now want to wait until summer to sign the Chilean, who will be out of contract by then. However, United are hoping they can convince him to join the club by meeting his £400,000-a-week wage demand, as well as convincing Arsenal to sell.
When asked about Sanchez during a press conference, Mourinho called him “phenomenal” but refused to reveal more information regarding a possible transfer.
“In relation to Alexis Sanchez I don’t say a word, the only word I can say is he is a phenomenal player, apart from that an Arsenal player and I feel I shouldn’t say much more than this,” he said.
‘The word we can find to be speaking about players of other clubs. If somebody speaks of one of my players to tell we are interested or we are not interested, I wouldn’t be very, very happy.
“Sanchez is an Arsenal player, I don’t know but probably this weekend he is going to defend Arsenal colors so I don’t think it’s correct to say things about Alexis Sanchez.
“At the general level what I can say is myself and the Manchester United board, the owners, we don’t believe a lot in the January market, we don’t believe in signing a player just to sign a player, just to do something, we don’t believe in that.
“What we believe really is there are some players in football world if you have the chance to sign them in January, in March or in July, you have to try and that’s it.”
Additional reports suggest Sanchez has decided to opt for the move to United, instead of running down his contract to reunite with the former manager Pep Guardiola at City in the summer.
He was not in the squad today as Arsenal suffered a shock defeat away at Bournemouth, and Wenger admitted the player’s future will be decided in the next 48 hours.
“I don’t master the rhythm of it [the transfer] but it could happen today, tomorrow or not at all. That’s why I didn’t take a decision [to select him] – I didn’t want to travel with him and, suddenly, he goes somewhere,” the manager said.