By support

6th Dec, 2016 | 7:39am

Report: Manchester United braced for £60m Martial battle, Rodriguez could be key to deal

By Dominic Toner

Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are set to battle it out for Manchester United ace Anthony Martial, according to a report.

The Sun claim that the two La Liga teams are interested in the £60million-rated attacker, but Madrid consider themselves as favourites to sign him.

It is said that United manager Jose Mourinho is keen on Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez and he could be used in a swap deal.

The report details that Barcelona were previously interested in Martial before he completed a move to Old Trafford in 2015.

Martial is regarded as one of the most talented youngsters in Europe and the France international has made a strong start at United.

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The 20-year-old has now racked up 71 appearances, scoring 23 goals and supplying 17 assists.

He is often used as a left winger in United’s system and can also be played at centre forward.

Martial has been criticised during stages of his career by fans and they have accused him of inconsistent performances.

United manager Mourinho is still trying to figure out his strongest starting line-up since his summer appointment and is an admirer of Colombia international Rodriguez.

The 25-year-old is currently struggling to feature in Madrid’s starting XI and has completed 90 minutes in just three of his 13 appearances this season.

He has not quite met expectations since his £63million move in 2014 despite the attacking midfielder scoring 27 goals in 91 appearances.

Football Insider verdict:

Manchester United would be wise to reject any bids for Martial and see how he develops in the next few years. The youngster has shown glimpses of quality already at Old Trafford and will improve as he develops and mature. The attacker is a constant feature in the starting line-up and they did spend an initial £36million on the Frenchman which could rise to £56million. United do have the chance to cash in on Martial, but he has so much potential and it could be something they later regret. Interest from Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid show that Martial is expected to reach a top level. He is already an important player for United and has the potential to become world-class if he improves his decision making.

In other Manchester United, Everton are considering a move for the club’s player.