Jose Mourinho hopes Anthony Martial will stay at Manchester United and has challenged the forward to go from a “top talent” to a “top player”.
Sky Sports News understands Martial, whose deal expires at the end of the season, has rejected an extension offer, but that talks will continue. The club have an option to extend by a further year.
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It is understood Mourinho was willing to let the Frenchman go in the summer, however, it appears Martial’s recent performances – scoring four in his last three league games – have changed his manager’s mind.
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Asked how confident he is of Martial staying, Mourinho said: “I don’t belong to the discussions of contracts.
“I don’t even know their contracts in the sense of numbers and I’m really happy with that – to not have to participate in these types of discussions.
“Obviously I hope we will agree. He is a talented player – everybody has known that since he was at Monaco. Another thing is a talented player with consistency and understanding what a football match is in the globality.
“When you reach that level or are almost reaching that level is when you become a top player. One thing is a top talent, another thing is a top player.
“When he is now much closer to becoming a top player, obviously I would like him to stay. I know the club very much wants him to stay so hopefully he is going to stay.”
Marcus Rashford, who turned 21 in midweek, has struggled in front of goal this season – scoring once in 10 games, but Mourinho believes he is in the right place to fulfil his potential.
“I think he’s got fantastic conditions to develop, he is still developing, but he has fantastic conditions,” added Mourinho.
“Mr Van Gaal brought him to the team, then I come and he played with me a lot. He played in the national team with Sam [Allardyce] and then with Gareth Southgate.
“He’s played in the World Cup, the Europa League final, two FA Cup finals – he’s had incredible conditions to develop and I think that is what he is doing.
“I think the pressure is too high. He’s just turned 21, how many players aged 21 had more game time in a big club, in a big country’s national team. How many players are having these kind of opportunities to develop their potential? Not many.
“From my point of view a little bit of pressure will help him to achieve what he can.”
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