Chelsea Interest Forced Man Utd To Pay Record Fee For French Attacker
Man Utd were forced to pay over the odds to sign Anthony Martial from Monaco because the likes of Chelsea and Man City were keen on snapping him up next summer
With the summer transfer window now closed for business, it’s time to start looking at those deals that failed to get over the line. Today, Chelsea were also keen on Anthony Martial….
Manchester United were forced to pay over the odds to sign Anthony Martial from Monaco because the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City were keen on snapping him up next summer, according to the Daily Mail.
United sent shock-waves through the footballing world after agreeing to pay Monaco an initial £36m for 19-year-old Martial on transfer deadline day earlier this week [via BBC].
That represented a record fee for a teenager and the deal also includes several performance-based add ons that could see United end up splashing out up to £58m on the talented French youngster.
Given that Martial has only made 72 Ligue 1 professional appearances throughout his career to date – scoring 15 goals – many were bemused as to why the Red Devils had agreed to pay such an extravagant fee.
However, the Daily Mail are carrying quotes from an apparent source from within Old Trafford who has revealed that they were forced to pay a ‘premium’ to sign Martial this week as the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain were all looking to secure a pre-contract agreement to sign the attacker next summer.
The ‘source’ likened the situation to United’s capture of Cristiano Ronaldo, which saw the club pay Sporting Lisbon £12.2m for the then 18-year-old back in 2003, and I’m sure they’ll be hoping Martial enjoys similar success to the Portuguese super-star.
Some critics accused United of panic buying when they signed Martial on Tuesday but the source claims the club had been tracking the teenager for some time and only decided to make their move after Monaco crashed out of the Champions League.
‘Barcelona, Paris St Germain, Chelsea and City were all in on pre-contract for Martial next season,’ the source told the Mail.
‘We paid a premium to get him now. It is similar to what we did with Ronaldo – and that turned out OK.’
‘The player has been watched a number of times. It was only when Monaco lost in the Champions League play-off to Valencia that it became something we could do.’
It was certainly a surprise when the fee that United had paid for Martial was revealed but if the likes of Chelsea and City were also showing an interest, that would obviously have pushed the price up.
However, I still think they’ve over-paid for the player and Monaco were able to take advantage of the fact that Louis van Gaal was desperate to add a versatile attacker to his squad before the window slammed shut.
Only time will tell if Martial proves to be a good purchase. He’s got bags of ability but still has it all to do and there is huge pressure on his shoulders now. Will he be the next Ronadlo, or the next Bebe? We’ll have to wait and see….
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