Anthony Martial has not ruled out staying at Manchester United and is still talking to the club about signing a new contract, sources have said.
The Frenchman made it clear to United chiefs in the summer he wanted to leave Old Trafford but executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has so far refused to listen to offers.
Martial has admitted privately it is now unlikely he will be sold before the transfer window shuts in Europe on Friday.
United are still hoping to tie down the 22-year-old with a new deal and discussions are ongoing with Martial’s representatives over a four-year contract with an option of another season.
Sources have said that Jose Mourinho is open to selling the forward but his plan to bring in 30-year-old Willian from Chelsea in his place was met with resistance by Woodward and the board.
Martial has grown frustrated at United after seeing opportunities limited by the arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal. He scored in three consecutive Premier League games before Mourinho swapped Sanchez for Henrikh Mkhitaryan in January and, with the Chilean in the squad, made just five more league starts during the second half of the season.
He was an unused substitute in the FA Cup semifinal win over Tottenham in April and was limited to a 17-minute cameo against Chelsea in the final.
Martial made his first start of the season in the 3-2 defeat at Brighton — with Sanchez sidelined through injury — but lasted just 60 minutes before being substituted. He was omitted entirely from the squad to face Tottenham on Monday and sources have told ESPN FC he is not injured.
Mourinho is coming under increasing pressure after watching United make their worst start to a season since 1992, although sources insist he is not in any immediate danger.
Still, Martial has a year left on his contract and the option of an additional 12 months, raising the possibility he could outlast the Portuguese coach. In that event, Martial would be open to agreeing fresh terms at Old Trafford and fighting for his place under a new manager.
Sources have said that Martial is still perplexed at the club’s decision to fine him after leaving the preseason tour of the U.S. to attend the birth of his son, Swan. He was under the impression he had permission to fly from Los Angeles to Paris to be with his partner, Melanie Da Cruz, and believes he did not break any rules.
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