ARSENE WENGER is considering a bid for Manchester United youngster Anthony Martial, according to reports.
The Arsenal boss has placed the French forward, 21, on his summer wishlist – should the Gunners miss out on Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid.
According to the Daily Mail, Wenger is prepared to pay £40million for Martial, who fell out of favour under Jose Mourinho last season.
But Wenger realises that long-time rival Mourinho will never agree to sell Martial to him – and hopes to go above his head to get the deal done.
The report claims that the Arsenal boss wants negotiations to take place at board room level, and hopes to convince Manchester United’s hierarchy that it would be foolish to reject such a big bid for a reserve.
Martial became the world’s most expensive teenager when Louis van Gaal splashed out £36m to bring him to Old Trafford from Monaco in 2015.
That whopping fee also has clauses that could see the total price rocket to £58m – if Martial scored a certain number of goals and won the Ballon d’Or.
But after a brilliant first season at Old Trafford, where he scored 17 goals, including a debut goal against rivals Liverpool, Martial struggled last season.
He was in and out of the side, making just 18 Premier League starts, and ended the season with only eight goals in all competitions.
Wenger is desperate to land Mbappe, with the long-term boss believing he could have the same impact at in north London as club legend Thierry Henry.
But Los Blancos remain in poll position and are said to be preparing a world record bid north of £100m.
Arsenal are also out of the Champions League next season, another turn off for the teenage star.
Wenger, who won the FA Cup this season but faced numerous fan protests, is determined to land a top tier striker in this window.
Along with Mbappe, Alexandre Lacazette, who scored 37 goals for Lyon last season, and Borussia Dortmund’s 40-goal striker Pierrer-Emerick Aubameyang have also been linked.
SunSport have revealed that Arsenal have opened up contract talks with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, amid interest from Liverpool and Chelsea.
Gunners keeper Emiliano Martinez has also been offered the chance to join Valencia – leaving Wenger scrambling for replacements.
Arsenal are expected to lose at least two other keepers this window, with Wojciech Szczesny and David Ospina on the way out.
Despite Mourinho’s huge reluctance to sell to Wenger and Arsenal, United know they must recoup some money through sales this summer.
Victor Lindelof has already arrived for £30m, while the club continue to be linked with a blockbuster move for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.