Reports: Manchester United to use Martial in stunning swap deal for Barcelona superstar
Anthony Martial could be used as a makeweight by Manchester United in order to tempt Barcelona to sell one of their biggest superstars
What's the story?
Manchester United's Jose Mourinho never seems to be fully convinced with Anthony Martial according to most experts - despite the Frenchman's exhilarating start to 2017/18 - and a few of those experts from the Daily Star believe that United's manager is willing to use Martial as a makeweight in completing a rather stunning swap deal.
The swap would be for Barca's Croatian midfield general, Ivan Rakitic, of whom Mourinho is said to be a great admirer. Rakitic's dynamism, tactical awareness, and wealth of experience seems to have stolen the Portuguese's heart and is apparently convinced that Barcelona will be tempted to take the deal up considering the kind of form Anthony Martial.
How the folks over at the Star have found a way to read Mourinho's mind is, of course, a trade secret.
In case you didn't know
Ousmane Dembele's injury seems to have sorely exposed Barcelona's glaring lack of depth in the attacking department, what with Gerard Delafeou and Paco Alcacer both looking like nothing more than bit-part players and Martial may just be the tonic that Barcelona need at the moment.
The heart of the matter
The reports also base their analysis on the fact that Martial doesn't get much game time for United - his use as a powerful impact-sub apparently not enough to keep him happy - and that is what they believe will make Martial open to the offer.
How he hopes to break into Barca's first team once Dembele returns from injury is however left unanswered.
The glory of Anonony Martial
The grace of Ivan Rakitic
Who would you rather have on your team?
Considering that "50 million down the drain, Tony Martial scores again" seems to be the favoured chant of the United faithful these days, and also considering just how magnificently well Martial is playing, we all know how United fans will react to this news.
Meanwhile, with the kind of strength in depth Mourinho has at central midfield already, it's unlikely he'll want to sacrifice one of his most exciting attackers to add to it.
Valverde too seems to be happy with Rakitic, and as much as Barcelona could use Martial's attacking verve, the Basque may not be interested in sacrificing the solidity in midfield that Rakitic proffers to meet that end.
Likelihood of this happening: 1/10