Martial agent clouds long-term future after United trigger extension

Manchester United have automatically extended Anthony Martial’s contract through to the end of next season but the player’s agent remains “very pessimistic” about a longer-term commitment.

The Premier League club triggered their option on a one-year extension to prevent the 23-year-old from leaving on a free transfer at the end of 2018-19. He is now tied down until 2020 but it appears Martial and the club remain a long way from settling negotiations over a reported five-year contract offer. Martial’s agent Philippe Lamboley, who in June said his client wanted to leave Old Trafford, revealed to RMC Sport that he is dissatisfied with the terms on offer. “I am very pessimistic about a positive outcome from the discussions,” Lamboley said. “They have already sent us offers that are very far from our wishes. We are far from an agreement for the time being.” United’s move to temporarily extend the former Monaco man’s stay comes after they activated a similar extension in David de Gea’s deal last month. Martial has enjoyed flashes of good form this term and is the club’s top scorer in the Premier League with seven goals from nine starts. He has, however, shared an occasionally rocky relationship with manager Jose Mourinho that was strained further when he failed to return promptly to the club’s pre-season tour of the United States to attend the birth of his child. The France forward was restricted to a brief cameo off the bench as the Red Devils lost 3-1 at rivals Liverpool on Sunday, having been struggling with an injury sustained in the 2-2 draw with Arsenal.

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