What's the story?
Manchester United are preparing a new five-year contract for Anthony Martial according to reports from the Guardian. The French forward has been heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford this summer, however, it appears as though United are keen to keep him in Manchester beyond his current contract which expires next summer.
In case you didn't know...
Anthony Martial signed for Manchester United in 2015 from the French club, Monaco. The forward arrived at Old Trafford for a fee of £36 million, rising to £57 million - a world record price for a teenager at the time.
Signed by Louis Van Gaal, Martial has impressed in patches for the Red Devils but is yet to fulfill his massive potential. Since the arrival of Jose Mourinho as United manager, the 22-year-old has struggled for consistent game time and has been the subject of speculation regarding a move away from Manchester.
A public spat between the French forward and Mourinho this summer created headlines around the world. Martial had left Manchester United's preseason tour of the United States early to attend the birth of his second child which infuriated his manager leading to an official fine for the 22-year-old.
The heart of the matter
Despite the public spats between himself and Mourinho, Martial remains a player with enormous potential and one which the Manchester United board are keen to hold on to. With his contract expiring next summer, the Red Devils have an option to trigger an extension for a further year until 2020.
However, the club is keen to tie Martial down to an even longer contract and are putting together a five-year deal which will likely include assurances about first team football. The new contract offer could signify a move away from Mourinho handling such affairs as the Portuguese manager has previously said he was happy to let Martial leave Old Trafford.
Rumour Rating: 9/10
This news comes from Jamie Jackson of the Guardian who has very close ties to both Manchester clubs. United are undoubtedly preparing a new contract for Martial. Whether the French forward signs or not is another matter.
Further details about the contract are sure to come out over the coming days and weeks. Until then, it is interesting to see Manchester United going above the manager's head to renew player contracts. This is bound to frustrate Mourinho and shows how the club is taking slow steps towards removing the manager's authority over all contract and transfer matters.