In Focus: Roma want Martial on loan

According to The Mirror, Roma are attempting to sign Manchester United attacker Anthony Martial on loan for the 2017-18 campaign.

What’s the story?

Having sold Mohamed Salah to Liverpool in this summer’s transfer window, it is understood that Roma are on the lookout for a new wide player ahead of the new season.

According to The Mirror, the Italian club’s leading transfer target is France international Martial, who struggled for form under Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford last term.

Martial has travelled with the Man United squad for their pre-season tour of the United States, but Roma are also due in North America later this month, and it is thought that the Serie A outfit will attempt to thrash out a deal with the Premier League club whilst overseas.

Martial scored 17 goals during his first season at Man United, but the 21-year-old only netted eight times in 42 appearances during the 2016-17 season as he struggled to hold down a regular spot in Mourinho’s first XI.

Can Man United afford to let him leave?

Romelu Lukaku will soon be confirmed as a Man United player, but Wayne Rooney has left Man United, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic has not been offered a new 12-month contract.

Ibrahimovic will continue to train with Man United as he recovers from a serious knee injury, but the Swede, who could reportedly be offered a short-term contract by Mourinho, will not be available until early 2018.

Marcus Rashford is currently Man United’s only senior forward, and the 19-year-old played much of last season in a wide position, which is an indication of the lack of options, currently at least, in that area of the field.

Martial was selected at centre-forward in the latter stages of the season, and there were signs that the former AS Monaco youngster could have a long-term future in that particular role.

Roma will seemingly push hard for Martial this summer, but it is extremely difficult to imagine Man United allowing the attacker to leave, especially considering the form that he showed during the 2015-16 season.

Ivan Perisic might yet arrive from Inter Milan, but there is no question that Martial has a big role to play for the 20-time English champions next season.