Report: Man Utd decide whether to sign £34m playmaker, deal may involve 25 y/o

Anthony Martial has an uncertain future at Manchester United after struggling for form and playing time, but he’s somehow attracted the interest of Barcelona in recent months. He scored just four goals in 23 Premier League games last season and has just one in six this campaign.

Mundo Deportivo say the Catalans are looking to strengthen their frontline after Sergio Aguero’s heart condition forced him into an earlier retirement and Martial is on their list of transfer targets – the report says Ferran Torres, Edinson Cavani and Raheem Sterling are also on the list.

But as Barcelona have racked up over £1bn of debt, they don’t have the funds to match Martial’s £40m asking price and £250k-per-week wages. The Spanish giants had to loan people in and bring in free agents over the summer because of their financial situation, so Sport (h/t Sport Witness) say they’ve devised a plan to sign players without money.

Barcelona plan to use Philippe Coutinho in any deal for their transfer targets, meaning the former Liverpool playmaker would have to go to Manchester United in order for Martial to go in the opposite direction. United have no desire to sign the €40m (£34m) player, however, so a deal looks dead in the water.

Martial joined the Red Devils from AS Monaco in 2015 and has gone on to make 267 appearances in all competitions, scoring 79 goals with 50 assists, but he’s falling out of favour now.

The French international has started only two Premier League games this season and has amassed a meagre 357 of playing time across the board from a possible 810 because Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo are ahead in the pecking order. Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood can lead the line in an emergency too, so the writing might be on the wall for Martial.

He might well end up at Barcelona in the future, but United won’t be taking Coutinho as part of any deal.