Martial wants to leave Manchester United - By: David Billington | Dailytrust

Martial wants to leave Manchester United

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang

Anthony Martial sat down with his wife Melanie at the weekend, made a decision and called his agent. The Manchester United striker decided it is time for him to leave Old Trafford. Martial has made just ten appearances in all competitions this season and is fed up with his lack of game time.  

He has scored just one goal since the beginning of the 21/22 season and that was way back in October against Everton. Although he is currently struggling for fitness because of a knee injury he doesn’t think he has a future at the club. His agent Phillipe Lamboley was contacted and confirmed the news.  

He said this week, “He doesn’t want to stay in January and I will speak to the club before Christmas.” Martial has made 268 appearances for United and scored 79 goals. He reached his peak in 2019/20 when he scored 23 times, but only eight times since the beginning of last season.

Aubameyang’s problems multiply 

I mentioned previously Pierre Emerick Aubameyang’s lack of form, but the big news this week was losing the club captaincy because of yet another breach of the rules. Pierre-Emerick returned late from yet another trip abroad for which he had obtained permission! To arrive back late was disrespectful.  

The inside story revolves around the personal nature of the player and his manager. Mikel Arteta is very specific about players arriving on time for team meetings, training and team events. Aubameyang should have lead by example and he has failed once too often. The striker is not particularly close to Arteta on a personal level and the captaincy was given to him by previous manager Unai Emery.  

There is an inner circle within the dressing room who are basically the players who others listen to. These include Alexandre Lacazette, Martin Odegaard, Granit Xhaka, Kieran Tierney and Aubameyang. The five usually sit with Arteta in the dressing room and in the briefing room when tactics are discussed. 

The other players listen to them and the manager also listens. Aubameyang has now been demoted from the group. His tenure at Arsenal is under review and the manager and his staff will consider his future before Christmas. 

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel recalled his time at Borussia Dortmund when working with Aubameyang and commented, “That is not his strength to be absolutely on time. He was pretty much the only one who was constantly late so when we wanted him to be on time we just told him the meeting was at 10.45am when in fact it was at 11am!”  

This has been a difficult and turbulent year for the striker …he has been struck down with malaria, Covid 19, missed matches to attend to his sick mother and is in the middle of a devastating lack of form. Arsenal insiders now feel they have made the same mistake with Aubameyang as they did with Mesut Ozil. New contracts paying £350k a week were awarded to both players and then everything went wrong. 

A Christmas surprise 

It was a touching moment…a selection of Christmas hampers were delivered to the mainstream staff at Manchester United’s training ground. It was from a former employee who is still loved and adored by fans and staff. It was a very nice gesture from sacked manager Ole Gunner Solsakjaer. 

Dele Alli’s time is up at Tottenham 

Deli Alli is a perfect example of the swings and roundabouts of Premier League football. A much-cherished son under Mauricio Pochettino, humiliated by Jose Mourinho and finally a failure in the eyes of Antonio Conte. 

Alli is a gifted player for whom things never seem to work out. In the summer transfer window he sought employment elsewhere and Paris St Germain were interested but Chairman Daniel Levy stepped in to stop him leaving. Conte and Chairman Levy spoke earlier this week and Levy has now given the green light to Alli departing in January if a bid comes in for him. 

A loan deal is certainly a possibility. It is likely a loan will include an obligation to buy the unwanted player and Spurs are anxious to offload his £5 million a year salary. The German Bundesliga might be a home for Alli however with Newcastle’s huge spending power he might prefer the northeast at St James’ Park.

Christmas celebrations cancelled for many players 

Covid 19 has claimed yet another victim: Christmas parties! Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola officially cancelled the club celebrations for staff and players because of the fear of spreading the virus. Instead, Pep told the players to have their celebrations at home in safety. Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and Norwich have all been hit badly this week by the new Omicron virus. Spurs were forced to pull out of their match against Rennes in the Europa Conference League and also their away match to Brighton. The London club could well be forced to forfeit the game against Rennes which means they are out of Europe.

Meanwhile, over at Watford, manager Claudio Ranieri has told his players they will be having Christmas lunch with him in the club restaurant to help with their bonding and getting closer together and with the manager. Regrettably, their families will have to celebrate without them this year and they play matches again on Boxing Day.

Rudiger talking to Real Madrid

As I reported to you, Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has still not reached an agreement to sign a new contract that expires at the end of the current season. Real Madrid have stepped up their interest in taking him and this week met with the German international who earns £90k a week but wants to at the very least double that. Manchester United have also entered the conversation and are planning to talk to Rudiger. Chelsea have offered £140k a week but Rudiger has turned this down. The problem for manager Thomas Tuchel is that Rudiger is one of the most influential and outspoken players in the dressing room and has a big following amongst the players. He leads by example and is always totally committed and displays focused aggression in his playing style. His loss would be a big blow for Tuchel. The manager’s other worry is the uncertainty surrounding three other defenders and you can see why Chelsea could be in trouble. Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christianson and Thiago Silva are also out of contract at the end of the season although I expect Silva to sign a year’s extension.

Downfall of Bielsa

If you imagine a motor car down to its last few drops of petrol and more or less propelled on fumes that mirrored the equivalent of Marcelo Bielsa’s survival at Leeds. The 7-0 thrashing by Manchester City and dropping to sixteenth in the PL table was the last straw for many suffering Leeds fans…and several managerial staff.

Viera delighted with Gallagher

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Viera can’t stop talking about his latest superstar Conor Gallagher. After his excellent two goals against Everton Viera said, “There’s still plenty to come from him. He’s a fantastic player to have and he gives everything to the team and he can score goals. To have a midfielder who can score 10 to 15 goals is important.” Gallagher’s second goal is definitely a contender for best goal of the season. 

Gallagher’s Palace form attracts Thomas Tuchel 

21-year-old Conor Gallagher is turning out to be a sensational loanee at Crystal Palace this season. Chelsea, who own Gallagher, have not missed his tremendous progress, Palace manager Patrick Viera’s praise of the midfielder and Thomas Tuchel is monitoring his matches. Despite all their talent Chelsea have never replaced attacking midfielder Frank Lampard since he retired. Solid in defence, running into attacking positions outside the penalty area and huge ability to score goals with a fierce right foot. I suspect Gallagher will be taken back to Stamford Bridge at the end of the PL year if he keeps up his current form and could well be a regular for the Blues next season.

Haaland agents says Man City likely next destination

My sources in Germany tell me that Bundesliga club Dortmund are resigned to losing their scoring sensation Erling Haaland and his agent Mino Raiola spoke this week about a likely scenario. Raiola said that Manchester United are not favourites to sign Halland because a more natural home would be Manchester City. He pointed out that four clubs are in the hunt to sign the Norwegian. He mentioned City, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich as the front runners. It is not definite that Haaland will leave Germany however his contract runs until 2024 and the rumour is that it contains a £60million release clause. Raiola expanded his reasons why United will not be considered when commented, “City have won the championship five times in the last few years, much more than United. Erling is someone who wants to develop.” The youngster is also motivated towards City because his father Alfie Haaland played for them from 2000 until 2003.

Reality check for super-rich Newcastle owners

When the cash-rich Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) bought Newcastle for £305million their directors were excited about entering the glamour world of the Premier League and success and glory would follow. Reality has now bitten them hard and the Baggies sit in the bottom three with a new manager who managed only one point from his first two games and the next two games could well define what will happen to the famous black and white shirts this season. Howe said this week, commenting on the upcoming January transfer window, “It would be foolish of me to make rash promises or statements regarding players who might come here. My propriety at the moment is to get the best out of the players we have until January. We need to get more out of them. We need to help them in every way we can. I still believe we have the players we need to get results. It’s about this week and the magnitude of games coming up.” Never has a more true word been spoken.

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