Arsenal are reportedly set to end their interest in Manchester United forward Anthony Martial, who is understood to be seeking a summer exit.
Arsenal have decided to call it quits in their pursuit of Manchester United’s French attacker Anthony Martial, as per reports from the Evening Standard.
The Gunners have been actively monitoring the 22-year old forward ever since his days with AS Monaco, with manager Arsene Wenger understood to be a huge admirer of the player’s qualities.
Arsenal are even believed to have enquired about the possibility of taking Martial to the Emirates in January this year, as part of a swap deal for Alexis Sanchez, but Manchester United held firm on their stance that the forward wasn’t up for sale and instead allowed Henrikh Mkhitaryan to switch to North London.
Martial was enjoying a strong campaign after a below-par 2016-17 season, but ever since the arrival of Sanchez at Old Trafford, the 22-year old’s chances in the first team have taken a major hit, which has been a reason for growing frustrations within the player. Till date, the 18-time capped France international has scored 11 goals and set up 10 more in 41 games across all competitions.
It is being reported that Martial is open to a move away from Manchester at the end of the season, which has resulted in intensified interest from La Liga champions-elect Barcelona, while Arsenal’s local rivals Tottenham Hotspur too have thrown their hat in the ring.
However, the Gunners have decided to back out of any possible transfer war for Martial as the club believe that there are other areas of the squad that need to be strengthened. The centre-back department is something that Arsenal are keen on adding to, with the likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers and Rob Holding not being convincing enough this season, while a new central midfielder is also understood to be a top priority.
Add to that, Arsenal are also actively on the lookout for a replacement for goalkeeper Petr Cech, given that the veteran shot stopper’s dodgy displays have become much of a regular occurrence this term.
Martial is set to enter the final year of his contract with Manchester United at the end of the season, although the club have an option to extend it by a further year. Despite this, he is valued in the range of £60 million and Arsenal consider it to be a huge investment which would hamper them in their plans to strengthen their roster in other positions.
Moreover, Arsenal already have strong options to bank upon in their attack. They only recently invested heavily in signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund, along with bringing in Mkhitaryan in January, while they also have Alexandre Lacazette whom they signed at the start of the season.