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Wenger: I was told that Martial was not for sale

SoccerBy Sunday World
Wenger: I was surprised they sold him
Wenger: I was surprised they sold him

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists he never made a move for new Manchester United signing Anthony Martial this summer - because Monaco told him was not for sale.

France international Martial sealed a £36million move from the Ligue 1 side to Old Trafford on transfer deadline day - which came as a surprise to long-term admirer Wenger, who had tracked the youngster since his days at Lyon.

The 19-year-old forward has made a fine start to his United career - netting four goals in his first four games - and could play against the Gunners in the Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

If Wenger had his way, however, Martial could be lining up for the north London side, rather than against them, this weekend.

"I was surprised they sold him," Wenger told several national newspapers.

"The amount of money was massive. I believe that you could think that, if you are Monaco, you could have sold him as well next season.

"So I thought they would not sell him this year because they sold many other players.

"I thought they would maintain their word. He was not sellable. He was not on the list. He was one of the players Monaco did not want to sell, so we never made an approach for him.

"Only an acceptable amount of money after could do it. We always liked him, even when he was in Lyon."