Hours after news.bwin advised Manchester United that they didn’t need to complete another signing this summer, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward gave us the “you what” treatment and swiftly set about conducting a £36 million bit of business.
The French FA were the ones who let the ‘chat’ out of the ‘sac’, publicising the fact that Monaco forward Anthony Martial had interrupted his international duties to embark on a channel-hopping mission to get the transfer done.
Their warts-and-all statement revealed: “He requested permission from Didier Deschamps to travel to England to sign a contract with Manchester United. Given the exceptional circumstances, the coach has acceded to the request of the player. Anthony Martial left Clairefontaine on Monday at 12:00. He will return on Tuesday morning.”
As a fee has seemingly been agreed with his current employers and the 19-year-old is sufficiently intrigued by the prospect to take time away from his first opportunity to prove himself in the France squad, the bwin.com bookmakers are pretty confident that the deal will go through.
Odds of 3/10 rate the move as having a 76.9% likelihood of finalisation, which is a massive increase from the 4.76% chance that the 20/1 price a fortnight ago represented.
While the Frenchman has been linked with a Premier League switch throughout the window, it was Tottenham who were viewed as the frontrunners, with Arsenal the other club seen to have a shot at his signature.
However, Spurs shifted their attacking attention to Clinton N’Jie, Son Heung-min and Saido Berahino and Arsenal… well, as ever, nobody is too sure what is going on there.
Man Utd have been told for weeks that they require something extra up front after netting just three times in their opening four Premier League games and, though Louis van Gaal appeared to dismiss those concerns, it looks like he may have been bluffing.
The Red Devils are now 1/4 to make a permanent addition to their squad on transfer deadline day but, as the French FA’s schedule had Martial being back at Clairefontaine on Tuesday morning, it is possible that it will be sorted on Monday, indicating appeal in the 51/20 on them doing no final-day recruiting.