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Atletico Madrid ‘to explore exchange deal with Man Utd’ for Anthony Martial

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It has been revealed that Manchester United star Anthony Martial wants to leave Old Trafford in pursuit for more game time, and the Frenchman may have the option of Atletico Madrid as a potential suitor.

Martial’s representative, Philippe Lamboley, told has told Sky Sports that “Anthony wishes to leave the club in January”, due to his lack of playing time at United this season.

The Frenchman is contracted at United until 2024 but Martial wishes to consider his options when the transfer window reopens next month.

And he may already have a potential destination, and it could play into United’s hands too.

Martial is extremely keen on a January exit, as his agent also said: “He just needs to play. He doesn’t want to stay in January and I will speak to the club soon.”

New interim boss Ralf Rangnick didn’t appear to be too happy with the news, and insisted that Martial should speak to him and the club if he wants to leave, but the German may be tempted to explore one option in January.

According to Eurosport, Atletico Madrid are planning to explore the possibility of an exchange deal with United for Martial, and will reach out towards the end of the month to discover more about the Frenchman’s situation.

The report also goes on to suggest that if there are any Atleti players that United would be keen on taking in exchange, then a deal is increasingly likely with interest in some Atleti stars previously documented as recently as this summer.

United were linked with a move for Kieran Trippier, but a deal never materialised, but it remains to be seen who Atleti would be keen on letting go, with Rangnick likely to favour another attacker as an instant replacement for Martial.

However, the midfield is also a problem area for United, and defensive midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia has previously been on their radar.

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La Liga

Edinson Cavani’s sudden backtrack on Man Utd exit as he responds to Barcelona offer

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Manchester United are not expecting Edinson Cavani to force an exit in January after Barcelona reportedly offered the striker a contract

It’s been claimed there will be a mass exodus at United in the upcoming window as Ralf Rangnick begins his rebuild at Old Trafford.

Cavani is one of the names linked with a departure with the Uruguayan out of contract at the end of the season after signing a one-year extension in the summer.

The striker has barely featured this season and multiple reports suggest he is unhappy with his lack of playing time as he assesses his options ahead of January.

Barcelona appears to be leading the race for his signature with an offer on the table for personal terms, according to reports in Spain.

It’s claimed Cavani has been offered an 18-month contract that would earn him £3m and just under £1m in bonuses for the first six months, and then £3.5m and £1.3m for the remainder of the deal.

But Man United are not anticipating the forward to push for a move away from the club, reports the Manchester Evening News.

The 34-year-old isn’t getting distracted by all the speculation either as the former PSG talisman insists he isn’t thinking about what will happen next month, but fully focused on the short term instead.

Cavani told United’s in-house media: “I think one of the most important things, maybe one of the really key things here, is to always approach games and prepare for them on a strictly match-by-match basis.

“That really is what my vision of football is all about, my view of how a season might pan out. Don’t make a lot of plans in your head about anything in the long-term. So, in December or whatever the date, we’ll be there or thereabouts.

No, I think you have to prepare for each game like it was a final. And then, gradually, keep an eye on how things are going and what’s happening generally. So, I think December’s an important month, to think about and take in that way.

“Focus on the next game, pick up vital points and then gradually keep adding to the points tally, so we can then get to the halfway point in the season, which comes at the end of December, and see what things are looking like then.

“Then, it’s all about keeping going in the same way, step by step, through until the end of the campaign. That’s, more or less, how I view the game of football and each competition we’re involved in.”

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Xavi to capitilise on Man Utd dressing room problems as Barcelona target double transfer

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Barcelona have been linked with a double move for Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial as disharmony in the Manchester United dressing room has resurfaced.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s overreliance on his first-team stars caused friction in the squad before he was sacked as fringe players were frozen out.

And while Ralf Rangnick’s arrival has steadied the ship, it seems these issues still persist.

Several United players have been linked with an exit in January including Donny van de Beek, Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani and Martial.

And the latest one is Greenwood who has seen his role diminished since Rangnick took over.

El Nacional claims he is ‘upset’ with his lack of playing time under the new boss after being a regular under Solskjaer.

The 20-year-old is specifically irked by the fact Ronaldo is always the first name on the teamsheet with his growing influence in the dressing room despite only joining in the summer.

The report states Greenwood is looking into the possibility of leaving Old Trafford, as a result, with Arsenal, Juventus and Barcelona linked with the rising star.

Xavi is looking to rebuild the Catalan side after the legendary midfielder returned to the club following the dismissal of Ronald Koeman as he forms a young nucleus with the likes of Ansu Fati, Pedri and Gavi.

Greenwood fits that mold, but he will be difficult to prize away from United with his current contract running until 2025.

Martial is another player on the fringes of Rangnick’s side and is reportedly unsettled at Old Trafford as he looks for an exit in January.

Barca have registered an interest in the Frenchman, but the report states that Xavi’s preference is Greenwood out of the pair.

Martial’s agent, Philippe Lamboley, expressed his client’s desire to leave United last week.

Rangnick insists he has not heard anything from the forward, but has warned that he should tell him directly if he’s unhappy, instead of communicating through his agent.

He said: “I don’t communicate with agents via the media or the press. The player hasn’t spoken with me or with us about it… To be honest, what his agent has said in the media is not that much of interest.”

Asked whether he would speak to the forward about his Lamboley’s admission, Rangnick added: “No, because then I’d react to what the agent has said.

“It should be the player. If a player wishes to go to another club, it should be the player who informs either the board or myself, whoever.

“I have never spoken to a player via media or agents.”

 

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Wilfred Ndidi explains why he will not have his head turned by Man United or Real Madrid

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Despite being linked with the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Real Madrid, Wilfred Ndidi is not the kind of person to let success go to his head.

The Leicester City star maintains a low profile despite being rated as one of the best holding midfielders in Europe. That is a tag he shares with the man he replaced in the Foxes midfield, N’Golo Kante.

However, Ndidi is happy to focus on himself as he turns 25 today.

“I focus on myself, I am always critical of myself, I do my best to improve as a footballer game by game and giving my best for my club,” he told BBC Sport Africa in April.

“The comparison with others, about who is better or if Kante and I play alike, is irrelevant to me. I think all that comparison was for those who love to talk and I didn’t focus on it.

“You’re comfortable when you are yourself and not listening or trying to be something you are not.

“I just love to give my best and when the media talk about it, that’s good for the team.

“I am not someone chasing personal glory or get distracted because of the praises or criticism, you’ll get both in football anyway.

“My job is helping the team. Doing everything I can to get three points and victory for the club, which is very important.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to play in the Premier League and chance to enjoy my game at a club like Leicester, where no player is more important than the team.

“I make a contribution like everyone else in the squad and if that helps us to achieve our collective effort, then I am happy to play my part.”

Ndidi’s quality is not lost on manager Brendan Rodgers.

He’s one of the top players in world football. His quality in his football is improving all the time,” he said earlier this year.

“He is irreplaceable for us. He’s fantastic for a young player. What is pleasing as a coach, is that he wants to learn. He will improve and get better. I’m so happy he plays in my team.”

 

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