Martial second choice? Man United were willing to pay massive fee for major target

Manchester United were willing to pay whatever Bayern Munich wanted for Thomas Muller over the summer, but were unable to persuade the Germans to sell, according to football agent Giovanni Branchini.

The Red Devils were heavily linked with the World Cup-winning forward for much of the last transfer window as they openly chased a new striker after letting both Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao leave the club.

Reports suggested that an offer of over £50m was submitted by the Manchester giants, but the Bundesliga champions held firm and United eventually looked elsewhere.

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And Branchini has claimed that that Muller was the player Louis van Gaal wanted, with the Premier League leaders having been willing to snap him up “at all costs”:

“Manchester United wanted Thomas Muller at all costs.” He told CalcioMercatoWeb.

“I’ve spent days trying to explain Bayern Munich would never let him leave – so in the end they changed their mind.”

Branchini’s words lend credence to suggestions that Anthony Martial was a late ‘panic buy’, with United having paid a staggering £36m, which may yet rise to close to £60m, for the French teenager who had only netted 11 goals for Monaco prior to his Old Trafford switch.