Sunday, April 21, 2019 | ePaper
Mourinho hopes Martial will sign new Man Utd deal
Jose Mourinho is keen for Anthony Martial to commit his long-term future to Manchester United by signing a new contract, with the French forward emerging as one of the key players at Old Trafford.
Martial has been one of the most impressive performers in a disappointing season for the club, with five goals from five Premier League starts, and four in his past three appearances.
He has a contract until the end of the season, on terms that give the club an option to extend it for a further year, with discussions under way to agree a deal beyond that.
The 22-year-old's future at Old Trafford looked uncertain during the summer, with his agent Philippe Lamboley indicating in June that the forward wanted to leave the club, having missed out on a place in France's World Cup squad.
Mourinho, at the time, was apparently willing to consider a sale, although executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward made clear he wanted to keep him.
Martial's recent form, including two goals against Chelsea in a 2-2 Premier League draw at Stamford Bridge, has impressed his manager, who feels now that the forward is worth a new contract, despite urging him to be more consistent.
"Obviously, I hope they will agree," Mourinho said. "Obviously I hope. One thing is that he's a talented player that everybody knows he is. Everybody knows since he was in Monaco that he is a talented player."
But he added: "One thing is being a top talent, another is being a top player. He is now much closer to being a top player."
Mourinho is concerned about United's blunt attack -- they went into the weekend with a goal difference of zero, having both scored and conceded 17 goals in 10 matches.
United, in eighth place, have scored 10 league goals fewer than leaders Manchester City, although they have managed one more than Tottenham, who started the weekend in fifth.
"I don't like to say we don't score many goals because our strikers aren't scoring, I don't like to say we concede too many goals because my goalkeeper does not save anything," Mourinho said.
"I think it is about the globality (the overall picture). It is about the team. We need obviously to score more goals."