April 28, 2017

Manchester United “disrespected” Anthony Martial by giving his No.9 shirt to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, says agent

The Frenchman’s representative said the decision was “out of order” and “got to” his client, who was disappointed, but said Martial is still happy at Old Trafford

Anthony Martial’s agent has hit out at Manchester United for handing the Frenchman’s No.9 shirt over to summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Philippe Lamboley said the club was “out of order” and that being stripped of the shirt number and bumped up to No.11 “got to” Martial, who was left disappointed.

“I’m not going to lie to you. Yes, it got to him. Yes, it surprised him. Yes, he was disappointed… for two days,” Lamboley told RMC Sport in France. “But he’s professional. He knew how to get back into things straight away.

“Personally, I find that decision out of order and disrespectful to my player. I told Manchester United’s board that. You just don’t do it. So we accepted it, we turned the page, but we didn’t rip it up.”

Martial was one of the few positives for United last season after his big-money move from Monaco on summer deadline day.

But the forward has struggled for form this season, emphasised by his omission from Didier Deschamps’ latest France squad.

Yet despite United’s early season struggles and being slighted in the shirt department, Martial remains happy at Old Trafford.

“He’s very happy there,” continued Lamboley. “They’re trying to make him look sad because he doesn’t always smile. It’s part of his personality. The people who know him well know that he’s an adorable and welcoming boy. He loves the fans, who welcomed him so well.

“He only has one desire, and that’s to have a great season and win titles with United. Let him work, let this young 20-year-old be happy and take pleasure in his work.

“What he’s achieved up until now is incredible. He’s only started his career, and I can promise you the best is yet to come.”