Anthony Martial has reportedly become the latest Manchester United to be forced to train away from the first-team squad. The French forward has not appeared for the club since December 9, which proved a despairing day for the Red Devils as they were hammered 3-0 at home by Bournemouth.
The 28-year-old picked up an apparent sickness bug shortly afterwards, and has subsequently missed six fixtures in all competitions for the club. And as speculation mounts over his future, Martial is now undergoing his own conditioning regime in a bid to get back to match fitness.
According to the Daily Mail, the development does not represent any kind of disciplinary sanction. However, the notion that manager Erik ten Hag doesn’t believe the player is yet fit enough to feature on match days could well accelerate his exit.
Ten Hag regularly instructs injured players to train in isolation, although significantly, was coy as to why Martial wasn’t available ahead of last Sunday’s game with Tottenham. With his contract set to expire in the summer, the club remain open to a sale this month in order to recuperate a transfer fee.
However, his current £250,000-a-week wages are likely to prove an obstacle to getting him through the exit door. And the fact he’s not currently featuring or even training with the first-team squad is hardy likely to attract potential buyers.
Martial was billed as a future star when United made him the most expensive teenager in Premier League history back in 2015, paying an initial £36million fee for his services. A debut goal against Liverpool only served to heighten expectations, but his stint in England has been plagued by inconsistent form and fitness issues.
He has 90 goals in 317 club games, but missed last season’s League Cup win after spending the second half of the campaign on loan at Sevilla. And the last of his 30 French caps came back in July 2021 in a World Cup qualifier against Finland.