Manchester United are optimistic that they can convince forward Anthony Martial to sign a five-year contract extension at Old Trafford, following a recent breakthrough in negotiations.
The France international looked set to leave the club after locking horns with head coach José Mourinho at the start of the season, when Martial didn't return to their pre-season tour in America following the birth of his child.
Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over at the club, however, Martial has had a change of heart, and Sky Sports' Dharmesh Sheth claims there has even been a breakthrough during recent talks over a new long-term contract.
"With regards to Martial, there appears to be a growing optimism that they can tie him down to a new deal, we are told there’s a breakthrough in negotiations over a five-year extension to his current deal," Sheth said, quoted by the Daily Star.
"If you rewind back to the summer, to be in this position I think is very hard to imagine for Manchester United fans. It looked like for all the money he was gone, didn’t it?
No Martial, no party. Simple as that really. Ander Herrera was also sorely missed out there. His leadership, passion and commitment spreads around the whole team. Forgot how deflating it feels to drop points.— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) January 29, 2019
"He was publicly criticised by Jose Mourinho because he didn’t return to the pre-season tour to the United States following the birth of his child. It appeared to be right then that this rift couldn’t be repaired at all between Mourinho and Martial.”
Martial was forced to sit out of Manchester United's late comeback against Burnley on Tuesday, where goals from Paul Pogba and Victor Lindelöf rescued a point for Solskjaer's side, after picking up an injury in training.
But the former AS Monaco star has been in electric form since Mourinho's departure at Old Trafford, claiming two goals and registering an assist across all competitions.