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Manchester United report: Incredible Barcelona swap deal featuring Anthony Martial planned by Xavi

Manchester United striker Anthony Martial
(Image credit: Getty)

Manchester United misfit Anthony Martial is a target for Barcelona, with Xavi looking at options to send to Old Trafford in return for the Frenchman.

That's according to Catalan outlet Ara, who say that deal between Martial and Ousmane Dembele is one of the options being explored by the financially-hampered LaLiga giants.

Barca have recently raided Manchester to bring Ferran Torres to the Camp Nou but are said to be interested in rehabilitating Martial's career. Xavi wants to add outlets to his side and sees Martial as a potential fit on the left-wing for his team.

Dembele, meanwhile, is out of contract in the summer – and Manchester United have historic interest in the World Cup winner.

While the move would be a good one for Martial, however – who has floundered in the Premier League – Dembele doesn't seem like a likely signing for United, given Ralf Rangnick's involvement in the club.

Not only do Manchester United already have a surplus of forwards in their side, Dembele does not fit into the 4-2-2-2 that Rangnick has implemented. While the Frenchman could well adapt to the league in the next three months before taking a role in a more traditional formation next season under the Red Devils' as-yet-unconfirmed permanent manager, he would be a square peg in a round hole at current.

United would be far more likely to look at the likes of Frenkie De Jong, Ronald Araujo and even Gavi and Nico Gonzalez, recent graduates of the club's famed La Masia academy.

With Barca only really interested in letting De Jong go, however, United would probably have to pay premium, plus Martial, should they wish to snare one of the Catalans' players in return for their flop forward. 

United are looking likely to add bodies to the squad this window while jettisoning deadwood. Donny van de Beek, Jesse Lingard, Edison Cavani and Dean Henderson have all been heavily linked with exits while Amadou Haidara, Boubacar Kamara and Erling Haaland are all rumoured to be joining. 

Martial is valued at £28m on Transfermarket.

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Mark White

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. He is a keen player of the Football Manager series and creates Twitter accounts for his Fantasy Premier League team every year, before losing interest in his team every September.