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United knock back Tottenham approach for Anthony Martial

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Basically it seems to boil down to “no Toby, no Anthony.”

Newcastle United v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

According to the Manchester Evening News, the negotiations that could take Anthony Martial from Manchester United to Tottenham Hotspur could “rumble on and on” for the foreseeable future.

MEN is reporting that United have rejected an approach from Spurs for Martial in what appears to be a retaliation for Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy playing hardball with the sale of Toby Alderweireld going the other way.

It basically boils down to this: United approached Spurs with a £55m bid for Toby, but Spurs insisted that any deal should include Martial. United boss Jose Mourinho is fine with that and has no problems selling to a rival, but the United front office would rather sell Martial overseas. Without Martial, Spurs have quoted United “silly prices” for Toby, and the whole thing goes on and on.

It’s pretty clear that a player swap of some sort would be beneficial to both clubs. Alderweireld wants to leave Spurs after rejecting repeated offers of a new contract and would reportedly be happy to go to United where he would help bolster their somewhat leaky back line. Martial is in Mourinho’s doghouse, and the prospects of him getting significant match time is minimal, especially after United purchased Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal last January. But he’d be a massive get for Spurs’ offense and would immediately challenge for a first XI place.

It seems like a whole lot of hand-wringing and stupid posturing for something that should — and probably will — eventually happen, but that’s football. The clubs have six weeks to try and figure something out. For the sake of both clubs, and both players, I hope they do, because this seems pretty much like a win-win situation.