Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Anthony Martial's decision to leave the club's ongoing pre-season tour to witness the birth of his second child was the player's own, revealing he knew nothing of the plans until this week.
Martial left the United camp on Wednesday to travel home to France to be with girlfriend Melanie da Cruz as she gives birth to a baby boy in Paris.
Bit of naughty reporting on Martial. Partner due to give birth. He might be unhappy, he might want to leave, but that isn’t the reason he’s left. Should remember we’re dealing with human beings. Might earn thousands/millions but can you put a price on seeing birth of your child?— Tom McDermott (@MrTomMcDermott) July 25, 2018
It remains a point of contention whether he had been given permission to leave, with Mourinho simply commenting after United's International Champions Cup marathon 9-8 penalty shootout win over AC Milan that no one had the right to stop him.
"I found out that Martial was going to Paris when he told me. It was two or three days ago," the United boss is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
"When it is personal reasons, everyone analyses that the way he thinks is the correct way. When a man is going to be a father - in this case, it's the second time he is going to be a father - and he decides it very important for him to go, nobody has the right to stop him to go."
Mourinho's carefully selected words implies that he did not fully agree with Martial's choice and a report from The Times has since claimed that their relationship is now at 'breaking point'.
It is said that United have refused to confirm if Martial had actually been given the manager's blessing and that Mourinho is 'angry' that the player chose to go. He is also described as 'deeply unhappy' after Martial apparently told teammates that he has no intention of returning for the remaining upcoming tour games against Liverpool and Real Madrid.
United are already missing players in pre-season as a result of the World Cup and Martial is in line to start the 2018/19 campaign as the attacking spearhead. But with the club reportedly willing to sell him, it remains to be seen if he will even be a United player come 10th August.