Manchester United loanee Anthony Martial has revealed that he rejected Barcelona and Juventus in favour of signing for Sevilla in the winter transfer window.
Martial has spent the last seven years of his career at Old Trafford, but United interim boss Ralf Rangnick revealed that the striker was eager to move on to a new challenge amid a lack of regular minutes in the first half of the 2021-22 campaign.
The Red Devils agreed a short-term loan deal with Sevilla for Martial in January 2022, with the 26-year-old opting for Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium despite rival interest from Barca and Juve.
What's been said?
Martial has confirmed that officials from both Camp Nou and the Allianz Stadium were in contact with his representatives, but Sevilla was always his first-choice destination.
"It's true. Juventus tried to sign me," he told Diario de Sevilla. "I was talking to my agent and told him I preferred to go to Sevilla. It was the best option for me and my family. FC Barcelona talked to my agent.
"But as I said, I spoke with my agent and told him: 'My priority is Sevilla'. And when I say something to someone, I don't change it, I keep my word."
The France international also admitted to taking a pay-cut in order to join the Andalucian club until the end of the season as he highlighted the importance of being guaranteed a prominent role on the pitch.
"Both Sevilla and I have made an effort so that I could come," he added. "I have less salary, but I also know that paying my salary is an effort for the club. So both of us have made an effort. But I know that this effort will be good for both parties.
"For me, it was the right decision because I knew I was going to play and for me playing was the most important thing.
"Other big clubs tried to convince me but I preferred to come to Sevilla because I knew that Sevilla was a very good club. For me, it was the right decision."
Martial gives verdict on Sevilla boss Lopetegui
Martial's stint at Sevilla did not get off to the best start on Saturday as he played a little over 75 minutes of their 0-0 draw with Osasuna.
Julen Lopetegui's side missed the chance to put pressure on title rivals Real Madrid, and the Spanish head coach was critical of Martial's performance post-match.
"Clearly he has to give us more. It was his first game, it's not easy to adapt," he told reporters.
"He comes with a bit of baggage because he's hardly played this season."
Martial has nothing but good things to say about the Sevilla boss, though, having been impressed with his man-management skills since his arrival at the club.
"He has asked me to play my game," he said. "To play freely to help the team. That's all. For me, Lopetegui is a very good coach. He has his style.
"He knows what he wants to do. He wants to contribute to the team. As a person I think he's a very good person. Always close to the player. And I think he's a very good coach for us."
Pressed on whether he is eyeing a spot in France's 2022 World Cup squad, Martial replied: "It's one of my goals. I want to do it because the last time I wasn't in the World Cup and France won it. So I'll do everything possible to be there this time.
"Sevilla is a good club and I know that if I play Well, I'll go to the national team. It only depends on me."
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