Anthony Martial may have moved step closer to Man Utd exit after Aston Villa draw

Aston Villa v Manchester United: Match in pictures

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Anthony Martial refused to be a part of Manchester United’s squad for their Premier League clash with Aston Villa as he seemingly edges closer to an Old Trafford exit. The French forward has openly expressed a desire to leave during the January transfer window, but the club will only approve a transfer if their demands are met.

After publicly stating his intention to move on this month, Martial’s hopes of an exit were dashed when United manager Ralf Rangnick revealed the club would only sanction a deal should certain terms be met.

Those terms reportedly include a potential suitor covering the full costs of the 26-year-old’s salary and a loan fee.

Sevilla, in particular, have been rumoured with making an approach for Martial, but are not willing to meet United’s substantial demands.

United want a loan fee and also the player’s wages paid in full to let him leave.

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With such stipulations appearing to deter interested clubs, the striker has now resorted to extreme lengths in order to push through a move as his frustrations evidently continue to mount.

“He [Martial] didn’t want to be in the squad,” Rangnick told MUTV following United’s 2-2 draw with Villa on Saturday. “He would have been in the squad normally but he didn’t want to and that was the reason why he didn’t travel with us yesterday.”

Martial hit back on Instagram later in the night: “I will never refuse to play a match for Man United. I’ve been here for seven years and I never disrespected and will never disrespect the club and the fans.”

Following comments made by Martial’s agent Philippe Lamboley, in which he openly declared his client’s desire to seek a new challenge amid a lack of playing time, Rangnick recently outlined some of the conditions over a potential transfer.

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“We spoke at length,” the German revealed earlier this month. “He explained to me he’s been at Manchester United now for the last seven years and he feels it’s the right time for a change, to go somewhere else.

“I think in a way this is understandable, I could follow his thoughts, but on the other hand, it’s also important to see the situation of the club.

“We have Covid times, we have three competitions in which we still have high ambitions and we want to be as successful as we can be.

“I told him ‘listen, as long as there is no club showing interest in him [he will stay]’ and it should not only be in the interest of the player it should also be in the interest of the club.

“As far as I know, there has been no offer from any other club and, as long as this is the case, he will stay.”

Martial has only amassed 10 appearances across all competition’s this campaign, with his only strike this season coming in the Red Devil’s disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Everton back in early October.

While the Frenchman’s Old Trafford career looks to be coming to a close, one United player whose journey is just getting started is that of Anthony Elanga, who seized his chance in the absence of both Martial and Cristiano Ronaldo.

After the match, Rangnick said of the young Swedish attacker: “He did well, he had two good opportunities himself to score but he showed what I expected him to show and why I played him from the start.”

And when probed over whether Elanga has overtaken Jadon Sancho in the United pecking order, the club’s interim boss added: “We have so many games to play that I am not thinking who is ahead of whom.

“It was today, the decision to play [Elanga] from the start but it could be different in the next game.”

And it looks as though Elanga could be set for even more minutes in the coming weeks and months, with an exit for Martial looking increasingly likely.

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