A mystery club offered more money than Manchester United for the signature of Anthony Martial, Monaco have revealed.
The 19-year-old moved to Old Trafford in a £36m deal over the summer. Despite the widespread astonishment at United's willingness to spend so much on the youngster, there was another club ready to splash even more.
Monaco vice president Vadim Vasilyev revealed that it was only because of Martial's strong desire to join Louis van Gaal's side and the add-ons that could potentially take the fee to £58m that the striker was allowed to make the switch to United.
"There was another club that offered even more than United," Vasilyev told Marca.
"I will not say how much, but the fixed price – without variables – it was even better.
"And also they offered us to have him for a further year in Monaco. But the boy wanted to go to Manchester, it was his dream.
"We let him go with the bonus of €30 million. Had it not been for so much money, he’d have stayed."
Manchester United vs Wolfsburg player ratings
Manchester United vs Wolfsburg player ratings
1/11 David De Gea: 6 out of 10
Was never really tested in the match, but did well when called into action although he couldn’t do a lot to keep out Caligiuri’s early goal.
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2/11 Valencia: 4 out of 10
His struggles at right-back were highlighted in just the fifth minute after he played Caligiuri onside for the Wolfsburg winger’s opener. Was hauled off at half-time and replaced by Young.
3/11 Blind: 5 out 10
Dragged out of position by Kruse in the build-up to the opener, which allowed Caligiuri the space and time he needed to shoot past De Gea and open the scoring.
4/11 Smalling: 8 out of 10
Should have communicated better with Blind to ensure they both did not try and stop Kruse for Wolfsburg’s first goal but did well to react quickly to Mata’s back-heel pass and give United the lead with his goal.
5/11 Darmian: 7 out of 10
Demonstrated some good attacking play from his left-back position by regularly sending long-range crosses to Mata on the right and did well defensively when called upon, but came under increasing pressure after Schurrle came on.
6/11 Schneiderlin: 4 out of 10
Should have done better to stop Kruse for the opener after failing to pressurise him enough, thereby allowing the winger to set up Caligiuri in the fifth minute. Struggled after Schweinsteiger went off and was lucky not to have been sent off for his needless foul on Draxler in the dying stages of the game while already on a yellow.
7/11 Schweinsteiger: 6 out of 10
Did well to contain the threat of Kruse alongside Schneiderlin in the early stages of the game, but after picking up a yellow card, was brought off in the second half - although his departure allowed Wolfsburg’s creative players much more space to build up attacks.
8/11 Mata: 8 out of 10
The midfielder was United’s best man on the pitch. After winning a penalty with the home side trailing by a goal, Mata then calmly stepped up to the spot and slotted past Benaglio to equalise before his superb back-heel pass set up Smalling for the winner. Aside from these contributions, he regularly set up his teammates with some fine crosses into the area.
9/11 Rooney: 5 out of 10
Should have equalised in the first half, but fired Martial’s superb cross high despite being completely unmarked. The United captain spent much of the game as a bystander but superbly cleared Draxler’s second-half effort that was heading into the goal.
10/11 Depay: 6 out of 10
Was at the end of some fantastic crosses from Mata but couldn’t convert any of those into a goal. Despite not being able to get on the score-sheet, his pace caused Wolfsburg full-back Trasch many problems but his inability to make a real impact resulted in Memphis being taken off and replaced by Pereira on the hour mark.
11/11 Martial: 6 out of 10
Kept dropping to the right in the early stages of the game to find the ball and it worked as the forward got past Rodriguez time and time again. While not being able to score, he played a key role in setting up attacks.
There are very few clubs with the finances to pay such a huge fee, meaning it was likely to have been one of Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Bayern Munich or Juventus.
Martial has made an immediate impact at Old Trafford, scoring four goals in seven games for his new club.
Whilst surprising some, it hasn't come as a shock to his former captain at Monaco.
"No, it is not a surprise for me," Jeremy Toulalan said when asked by Press Association Sport. "Anthony has got a lot of qualities.
"He is a good man and he will have a lot of success in Manchester.
"For Anthony, to be honest, it was difficult to refuse an offer like this. I am happy for him, he plays well at Manchester United."Reuse content