In Focus: Jose Mourinho likely to block Arsenal move for Anthony Martial

According to reports in the Mail on Sunday, Arsenal could make a £40m move for Manchester United winger Anthony Martial if they miss out on top target Kylian Mbappe from Monaco this summer.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the Mail on Sunday says that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is desperate to sign 18-year-old Mbappe as he believes that he could have the same impact for the club that Thierry Henry did previously.

However, the fact that he could cost a world-record fee of €140m (around £122m), according to the Daily Telegraph, may put a deal in doubt.

The north London outfit can also only offer the prolific attacker Europa League football next term, with Arsenal’s main rivals for his signature – Real Madrid – potentially able to guarantee first team football as well as Champions League football.

Wenger would look at a deal for Martial if that was the case, but the Frenchman is worried that Mourinho could stop any move according to the Mail on Sunday.

Why is that?

The relationship between Wenger and Mourinho has been frosty to say the least ever since the Portuguese boss came to the Premier League, with a number of previous clashes between the pair.

The Mail on Sunday report says the Frenchman fears that his managerial rival would block any deal, insisting that any negotiations would be conducted at board level.

How did Martial do last season?

While the Frenchman found life under Mourinho difficult at times last season, he ended the campaign having made 42 appearances in all competitions.

The winger scored eight goals and provided a further eight assists in those outings, and while he would have been pleased to feature in the League Cup success against Southampton, he played just six minutes of the Europa League final win against Ajax.

Would he be a good signing for Arsenal?

It would certainly be an interesting move.

While Wenger clearly wants Mbappe, Martial has all of the attributes to be a success with the Gunners as well as he loves to play on the left and cut inside on to his right foot – similar to Thierry Henry in the past.

At just 21 years of age and with plenty of ability and potential, the forward could prove to be a sound investment for £40m.

What’s the verdict, then?

Well, while Arsenal would certainly be right to target a move for Martial if a deal for Mbappe fails to materialise, it seems unlikely that Mourinho would sanction a transfer.