Tottenham Hotspur are said to be on the verge of opening up discussions with Manchester United over a move for the club’s French attacker Anthony Martial. The Daily Mail is reporting that a move for the 22-year-old is set to be accelerated next week.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is said to be a big fan of the player, who he feels can act both as a back-up to striker Harry Kane and as a left-sided attacker in his own right. The report suggests Tottenham will have to pay a large portion of the £38 million spent to bring the Frenchman to Old Trafford from Monaco.
For many though, the move will feel off. Manchester United are clearly in direct competition with Tottenham Hotspur for the Premier League title, amongst other silverware. Selling a player to a direct rival is not the done thing at Manchester United.
However, whilst it may not be the Manchester United philosophy, Jose Mourinho has no qualms about doing so.
He proved this in the past with one of his current United players. In January 2014 Manchester United completed a deal to sign Juan Mata from Chelsea. It was a shock move, given how impressive the Spaniard had been during his time at Stamford Bridge. But the club’s manager at the time, Mourinho, was not using him often enough. He preferred Oscar in the number 10 role and felt Mata did not have the defensive diligence to play wide. Therefore, he was sold for £37 million to rivals Manchester United. At the time Mourinho told Sky Sports:
“Arsenal is full of top players, City is full of top players, and United is full of top players, so if Juan plays for them, it means somebody else is not playing.
“So why not? Every club does this in other countries, so what’s the problem to do it here?
“If a similar situation happens (and) instead of us, instead of Man United, it’s Arsenal or Manchester City or Tottenham or Liverpool, we would do the same.
“If the offer was the same and Juan desired to go, it would be the same.”
Martial’s position at United is extremely similar to the one Mata found himself under Mourinho at Stamford Bridge. No doubt he is highly rated by the Portuguese. However, he does not quite fit the system he wants to play and it is unfair to keep him at the club just to avoid moving him on to a rival.
So this summer it will be no surprise to see Mourinho sanction a move for Martial to Tottenham. Although, he might still want a Toby Alderweireld shaped sweetener added into any deal.