Manchester United striker Martial tells club he wants to leave
Anthony Martial: Manchester United striker tells club he wants to leave
French striker Anthony Martial has told Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick he wants to leave.
Rangnick said he “spoke at length” on Wednesday with the 26-year-old, who told him “it’s the right time for a change”.
Martial has started just two Premier League games this season, scoring once.
Despite his desire to leave Old Trafford, Rangnick confirmed the club had not yet received an offer for the forward.
The player’s agent Philippe Lamboley confirmed earlier this month Martial wanted to leave the club in January, adding he would “speak to the club soon”.
Rangnick said: “He explained to me that 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.”
Martial signed for United in 2015 from Monaco for £36m, making him the world’s most expensive teenage footballer at the time.
He has scored 79 goals in 268 appearances for the Red Devils but has become a fringe player following the arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Jadon Sancho.
He not featured in any of Rangnick’s games in charge so far and has made just 10 appearances in all competitions this season.
“I think in a way it is understandable,” added Rangnick.
“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 have high ambitions and want to be as successful as we can be.
“So far, 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.”
‘Vaccine status could be consideration for new signings’
Rangnick also said he shares Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s concerns over signing players who are not vaccinated against coronavirus.
Klopp recently said a player’s vaccinated status would be “influential” in the club’s decision to sign them.
“I think it could be a consideration,” Rangnick said.
“This is an issue the clubs seriously have to think about. If you sign a player knowing from the first day that he has not been vaccinated, you have to be aware he might not be available.”
“Not only for 10 days, but this could happen regularly in Covid times.”
United had to shut the first-team section of teir Carrington facility due to a Covid outbreak and have had two Premier League games postponed in December.
The Premier League said 84% of players are on their “vaccination journey” according to recent figures, leaving 16% unvaccinated.
The figures are in line with comparable age groups across society in the UK.
Rangnick used the example of Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich as evidence players should get vaccinated as soon as possible.
The Germany international, 26, recently said he regrets not being vaccinated after suffering a lung problem as a result of Covid-19.
“[Kimmich] was extremely hesitant at the beginning and I think in the meantime he has realised it might be a good idea to get vaccinated,” Rangnick added.
“He caught Covid and still has some problems with his lungs. I think this is an issue where of course everybody can, and should have, his free will. But in football, especially at this level we are playing at, we need to try to convince our players to get vaccinated.
“It should be in the interest of the players to be vaccinated, but in the end it’s a decision that each club has to take by themselves and find the best possible solution.”