Man Utd ‘may release Anthony Martial’ as Ten Hag left with big contract call

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Manchester United star Anthony Martial reportedly could leave the club on a free transfer next summer, with the Red Devils weighing up whether or not to extend his current deal. The 27-year-old has failed to live up to expectations since his big-money move from Monaco in 2015 and continues to fall down the pecking order at Old Trafford.

Martial’s fitness issues have ensured that Erik ten Hag has been unable to rely on him for long periods, with Wout Weghorst drafted in on loan during January to replace the outgoing Cristiano Ronaldo, while Marcus Rashford has been forced to move central as Martial’s unavailability has left United short up front.

He scored six Premier League goals last season in 21 appearances and has made two starts this season, but so far failed to find the back of the net so far. With New signing Rasmus Hojlund getting up to full fitness, Martial is likely to be axed from the starting lineup for the foreseeable future, with a big decision yet to be made over his future.

The Manchester Evening News has claimed that United could end up releasing Martial, with the Frenchman out of contract at the end of the season. He is out of contract next summer but the club do have the option to extend his current deal for another year, but whether they will take up that option is a dilemma that they are yet to decide on.

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Martial is likely to be on high wages at United, but if he is released then the club would be forced to go back into the transfer market for another striker as Hojlund is the only other recognised number nine in Ten Hag’s squad, aside from Rashford who has proven that his future is on the left wing.

Though there must be frustrations within the club directed at Martial and his inability to stay fit, having recently returned from a muscle tear that saw him miss the majority of the club’s pre-season.

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While on the pitch, returns have been increasingly sporadic and ex-United striker Andy Cole has been the latest to hit out at Martial for his performances and lack of goals.

“Martial has been at Manchester United for eight years now and he hasn’t even scored 100 goals,” Cole told Betfred. “It’s incredible. He is a centre-forward at Manchester United and he has played in some fantastic teams.

“His best performance in the league was 17 goals. He’s had more than enough time and opportunity to show United just how good he is and he unfortunately hasn’t been able to do so.”

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