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Saturday 10 December 2016

Man United to sign Monaco ace Anthony Martial

Louis van Gaal ready to gamble on Monaco 19-year-old as the solution to his team's goalscoring problems

Monaco's Anthony Martial (C) challenges Paris St Germain's Thiago Da Silva (L) and David Luiz during their Ligue 1 soccer match at Louis II stadium in Monaco August 30, 2015
Monaco's Anthony Martial (C) challenges Paris St Germain's Thiago Da Silva (L) and David Luiz during their Ligue 1 soccer match at Louis II stadium in Monaco August 30, 2015

Manchester United look set to sign Monaco striker Anthony Martial after the 19-year-old was given permission to leave France's international camp to travel to the club.

Martial had been called up by France coach Didier Deschamps for his squad to play friendlies against Serbia and Portugal.

A statement on the French Football Federation website read: "Anthony Martial requested permission from Didier Deschamps to travel to England to sign a contract with Manchester United.

"Given the exceptional circumstances, the coach has agreed to the request of the player."

Martial is due to return to Clairefontaine on Tuesday morning, the FFF added.

Martial had only signed a new contract with Monaco in June but the size of the fee - £36million, according to one report - might explain why the club were prepared to sell him.

After he signed the new deal, Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev declared Martial as "untransferable" - Tottenham had also shown interest in the player.

Vasilyev said then: "He was being contacted by some of Europe's biggest clubs but we wanted to make sure that he continues his development with AS Monaco. What Anthony has been able to achieve at just 19 years of age is impressive, to say the least, but the best is yet to come."

Martial netted nine league goals in Ligue 1 for Monaco last season and, although he did not score, was also impressive in the Champions League against Arsenal.

Martial's arrival looks to coincide with the departure of United's Mexico striker Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez, who was pictured by German newspaper Bild arriving at Bayer Leverkusen ahead of a proposed permanent move.

Hernandez, who was on loan at Real Madrid last season, is expected to sign a three-year contract.

Meanwhile, reports in Ruhr Nachrichten say Borussia Dortmund are preparing to sign United's Belgium midfielder Adnan Januzaj on loan.

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