Anthony Martial rejected the opportunity to join Premier League Champions Chelsea to sign for Manchester United this summer.
Monaco’s vice-president Vadim Vasilyev had announced United were not the only club to make an offer for the young forward, but the Manchester Evening News have revealed the other interested party were, in fact, Chelsea.
The Blues’ interest in Martial had been unknown, but it turns out they made a late bid to scupper the United deal and had even offered more money than their close rivals.
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Vasilyev told Marca: I will not say how much, but the fixed price, without variables, it was even better. And also they offered us to have him for a further year in Monaco.”
Eventually, the lure of Manchester United was too much and Martial chose to fulfil his dream by joining Louis van Gaal’s side for an initial £36 million.
“The boy wanted to go to Manchester, it was his dream. And we let him go with the bonus of 30 million. Had it not been for so much money, he’d have stayed” Vasilyev continued.
And the 19-year-old hasn’t looked back since, scoring three goals from as many appearances, he has settled into the Premier League perfectly.
Chelsea fans will now be wishing what could have been after their early season troubles.
Another home defeat to Southampton last night has left Jose Mourinho’s men just four points above the relegation zone after eight games.
Chelsea’s key striker from last season Diego Costa has looked out of sorts and is currently serving a three-match ban following his altercation with Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny last month.
This has forced goal-scoring duties to fall upon Manchester United failure Radamel Falcao and Loic Remy who have just one league strike between them so far this campaign.
Martial’s success combined with Falcao’s continued difficulties will provide United supporters with some rare relief after being gazumped by Chelsea in the past for players such as Eden Hazard, Arjen Robben and Michael Essien.