Saturday, September 23, 2017

Martial set for £36m Man Utd move

France national team boss Didier Deschamps has given AS Monaco forward Anthony Martial permission to travel to England to finalise a contract with Manchester United.

France national team boss Didier Deschamps has given AS Monaco forward Anthony Martial permission to travel to England to finalise a contract with Manchester United.

Martial, who joined Monaco from Olympique Lyonnais for €5 million in the summer of 2013, is expected to move to Old Trafford for a handsome fee of £36 million, which would make him Manchester United’s third expensive signing after Angel Di Maria (£59.7 million) and Juan Mata (£37.1 million).

The France Under-21 international, who has also represented France at the U-16, U-17, U-18 and U-19 levels, was called up to Les Bleus’ senior national team for the first time on 28 August.

“He plays centrally, but often drifts into wide positions, more on the left than the right,” Deschamps said.

“He’s got a good combination of pace and power. He’s a young player obviously, but he’s got an interesting profile in an area where it’s not easy to find players with both strength and speed.

“He’s got good potential and I want to see how he does with the squad.”

Martial, 19, has tallied one goal and two assists in seven appearances in all competitions for Monaco this season.

Mourinho praises ‘young eggs’

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has hinted he may give Kurt Zouma, Kenedy, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek more first-team opportunities after the trio impressed against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

With John Terry struggling and no move for John Stones on the cards, Mourinho could turn to Zouma to anchor the Blues’ defence, and rightly so.

The France international, who joined Chelsea from Saint-Étienne in a deal reportedly worth around £12 million in 2014, has impressed since breaking into Mourinho’s first-team last season. Put simply, he is the club’s centre-back of the future.

Meanwhile, the poor form of Eden Hazard and the injury to Oscar has given Brazilian starlet Kenedy some unexpected first-team football this season.  However, expect the Brazil Under-20 international and Ruben Loftus-Cheek to be limited to cup appearances until further notice.

“I have beautiful young eggs in Kenedy, in Ruben and in Zouma,” Mourinho told the club’s official website. “If you look at the game, all of these young eggs did well. Zouma — great personality, great game [against Palace]; Kenedy changed the game and gave a different intensity and a different quality; Ruben was fine too.

“This is about the young players working and coming in and using the opportunities they have to improve and show their qualities.

“I’m not saying they are ready and they can be consistent and play every game. I am saying these young guys have good talent. Zouma with the experience of the last season has reached a fantastic level for a 20-year-old. Kenedy and Ruben, these kinds of boys, are players with very good talent.”

Chelsea are priced at 6/1 to win the English Premier League title this season.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shawn Etemadi


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