Manchester United’s deadline-day capture of striker Anthony Martial may end as a bigger victory for Louis van Gaal’s side than first expected after it emerged Premier League rivals Chelsea will be angered by the deal.
The MailOnline’s Sunni Upal and Matt Barlow reported the Blues were one of the clubs said to have been turned down by Monaco prior to Martial’s £36 million move to Old Trafford:
“They (Monaco) also expect the other two big clubs to be unhappy, having been assured Martial would not be sold this summer. Chelsea are thought to be one—but one thing is clear—no other club was ready to bid anything like what United did for the 19-year-old.”
Earlier this summer, the Guardian‘s Ed Aarons denied Chelsea had launched a €55 million (£40.4 million) move of their own for the teenager:
It’s not the first time a transfer has erupted in controversy between the two clubs after BBC Sport reported John Obi Mikel’s 2005 move to Stamford Bridge resulted in a high-profile probe.
Upal and Barlow sourced French reports, claiming the deal could rise to cost United an eye-watering £58 million with add-ons, including the percentages Martial’s former clubs Lyon and CO Les Ulis will claim.
Les Gones will receive £7 million of the figure, according to the report, while Dan Levy of France24 proclaims CO Les Ulis can expect a €600,000 windfall, which is no small amount by their standards:
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho already made additions to his attack this summer after finalising deals to bring in Barcelona’s Pedro and Radamel Falcao on a season-long loan, also from Monaco.
We wished to keep him this season but Manchester United made an incredible offer that neither Anthony, nor AS Monaco, could refuse. Our project showcases many players and Anthony has proven his worth and potential on the pitch.
Though this move was not planned, it shows the quality of the work undertaken by the technical staff but also that we were right to recruit him two years ago. We wish Anthony the best for the next chapter in his career.
Sealing the services of a prospect as promising as Martial will be well received at Old Trafford, as will the notion United are still capable of trumping their Premier League peers in the hunt for Europe’s top talents.
Outlaying such an extravagant fee for the 19-year-old has produced a mixed reaction among the football community, but the Guardian‘s Daniel Harris hints it could be years before the “investment” can be judged properly:
United launched their mega-money move after scoring just three goals in the first four games of the Premier League season, with club captain Wayne Rooney yet to score domestically this term.
But even considering the desperation to improve matters up front, French football expert Julien Laurens told BT Sport there’s no way Martial was worth the £36 million figure:
A gamble though it may be, the Red Devils will boast bragging rights if Martial is able to revive the prolific form that once saw him score 32 goals in 21 games for Lyon’s under-17s.
Chelsea and Manchester United have exchanged blows as the Premier League’s two most successful sides over the past decade, and Martial’s potential in the years to come could ignite another bitter feud between the two titans of English football.