Anthony Martial’s time at Manchester United seems like it is running out. Sky Sports reported Martial wishes to leave Old Trafford in January, and it is the right time to move on.
Martial is out of favour, having started only two Premier League games this season. Amid injuries and competition for places, he is simply no longer needed.
There has not been a rush of clubs making bids to sign him just yet, with his high United wages potentially complicating any move.
According to French outlet RMC Sport, Ligue 1 side Lyon are interested – although most likely in a loan move.
Lyon could be a good move for Martial, a club where he could get to play regularly. They helped steady Memphis Depay’s career after his spell at Old Trafford went sour.
United may have to get a bit creative. Potentially Martial could be used in a swap deal, essentially waiving any transfer fee for the striker, with a player moving to Old Trafford instead.
Here is a look at three players United should try to trade with Lyon in a swap deal for Martial…
Bruno Guimaraes is a defensive midfielder who would fill a position of need at Manchester United, whereas Martial plays in a role where the club is overloaded.
Guimaraes, 24, is averaging 2.1 tackles per game in Ligue 1 this season, and he is good on the ball too, fitting Ralf Rangnick’s forward passing style.
FBRef.com report Guimaraes has played 118 passes into the penalty box this season, the highest of any player in Ligue 1.
Off the ball he ranks fourth highest of all players for successful pressures, and the Brazilian could be an ideal upgrade on Nemanja Matic.
21-year-old Maxence Caqueret is a promising midfielder who could develop under Rangnick’s guidance. Caqueret averages 1.8 tackles per game.
FBRef.com report Caqueret ranks in the top three per cent of players in Europe’s top five leagues for off ball pressures, a key trait Rangnick looks for in his players.
Caqueret’s age and profile may appeal to United’s new boss, and Lyon could be more likely to accept his departure than Guimaraes.
Two years ago Rayan Cherki was regarded as one of the top young players in Europe, with The Independent reporting United tried to sign him at 16.
The teenager has not kicked on as Lyon have hoped, with just two Ligue 1 starts this season and a handful of substitute appearances.
With Martial a France international, Lyon could be willing to let Cherki leave to land the United star, while the Red Devils would be gambling on the teenager’s potential.
There is plenty of time for the 18-year-old to come good, and Rangnick would relish the opportunity to work with him.
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