Chelsea and Tottenham have reportedly received a major blow in pursuit of Anthony Martial, with Manchester United refusing to sell to direct rivals.

According to a report by Daily Mirror, Manchester United will not sell Anthony Martial to Chelsea or Tottenham, even if they are willing to meet his £70 million valuation. The French international looks set to depart from Old Trafford in this summer’s transfer window, with Bayern Munich and PSG also interested in him.

Martial’s frustrations have boiled over after two seasons under Jose Mourinho, during which he has failed to command a regular place in the Manchester United starting lineup. The situation became bad to worse in the last six months, with the arrival of Alexis Sanchez turning the French international into a bit-part player.

As the summer transfer window opened, Martial’s agent, Philippe Lamboley announced that the player wants to leave Manchester United, having missed out on France’s World Cup squad. With his future at Old Trafford uncertain, several clubs have been alerted, with the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham, Bayern Munich and PSG interested.

Chelsea are struggling to keep hold of Eden Hazard and Willian, who are both being heavily linked with summer moves to Spain. Maurizio Sarri has insisted that the Blues want to retain the duo. But, Chelsea need to keep their options open, making Martial a viable long-term target.

Set to move away. But, where to? (Photo courtesy - Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Set to move away. But, where to? (Photo courtesy – Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Tottenham, on the other hand, face no such problems as far as the future of key players are concerned. Squad depth though, is an issue that has pegged them back in recent campaigns. Martial’s addition could potentially bolster two positions at once, which makes him an appealing prospect.

But, Chelsea and Tottenham aren’t the only clubs in pursuit of Martial. Bayern Munich and PSG are both willing to launch the offensive for the French international. And, the European heavyweights might have received a boost of sorts in their pursuit of the 22-year-old.

Manchester United are unwilling to sell Martial to direct rivals, effectively ending the hopes of Chelsea and Tottenham even if they are prepared to meet his £70 million asking price. The Red Devils though, are finally open to the idea of offloading the French international, which means Bayern and PSG should be the front-runners in his pursuit now.

Jose Mourinho is known to be an advocate of selling unsettled players, although he seemed to be taking aim at Martial when quizzed of his exit talks recently. Meanwhile, Manchester United will only part ways with the player if a suitor meets their £70 million valuation.

Martial’s stint at Old Trafford could be set to come to an end this summer. It remains to be seen if Bayern Munich or PSG are ready to shell out the required sum to sign him. But, Chelsea and Tottenham certainly look to have lost out in the race to sign the disgruntled French international this summer.

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