Ajax winger Antony has been linked to Manchester United since Erik ten Hag was first linked in succeeding Ole Gunnar Solskjær as the permanent manager of United. On Thursday, Brazilian journalists Thiago Fernandes and Raul Moura gave suggestion this was true.
It was stated in collaboration between the two journalists that the representatives of Antony were in Europe to negotiate with United. It has been suggested that the 22-year-old representatives were here to ‘accelerate and perhaps close a possible deal between the player and United.’
During the 2021/22 season, the Brazilian winger made a total of 33 appearances with Ajax, scoring 12 goals and 10 assists, playing in the Eredivisie, in which Ajax won, the KNVB Beker, losing to PSV Eindhoven in the final and the UEFA Champions League, losing out to Benfica in the round of 16.
Already United have lost the likes of Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata and Lee Grant and will be expected to sign a good few players this summer in order to strengthen the squad for the 2022/23 season where they will need to challenge.
United will need to fill in many positions this summer with a striker, winger, midfielder and possible even looking at all defensive positions. It is expected that Frenkie de Jong could be a lot closer to signing for United than he was in the past few weeks after Wednesday’s news.
Goal Brazil has reported that Antony could cost United €60 million (£51 million) this summer which is a good fee for a player with many years ahead of him. The winger had three seasons at São Paulo before signing for Ajax in February 2020 for an initial £13 million which could rise to £18.2 million.
With three attacking minded players leaving United this summer (Cavani, Lingard and Mata), United have just Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Anthony Elanga left and could be set to say goodbye to Martial this summer too, if he has any interested clubs.
This would mean that Erik ten Hag could need at least two attacking players, a winger and a striker to take the reliance away from Ronaldo, Rashford, Sancho etc. In the past few seasons, United looked stacked in terms of attackers, but last season proved too tough for most of them to shine.
If United get deals done early this summer, the club would be able to concentrate on outgoing players, of which there could be many seeking new challenges or the search of regular playing time that they may not get at United now they head into another new era under Ten Hag.
Written by John Walker