Manchester United see Ajax forward Antony as the primary target to strengthen their attacking ranks ahead of next season and have held talks over the transfer, 90min understands.
New manager Erik ten Hag is hoping to add five new players to the first team squad ahead of his debut season at Old Trafford, with Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong already established as the main objective to strengthen in central midfield.
United are working on a deal for the Dutchman at present and are set to make a new bid this week, in hope they can complete a deal before De Jong returns from his end of season break. United are also in the mix to sign Brentford midfielder Christian Eriksen, who is out of contract in west London at the end of this month.
The pair fit the bill with two midfielders on United’s wish list, while they are also hoping to add two defenders and a versatile forward. Antony, a 22-year-old Brazilian, came to the fore in European football under Ten Hag at Ajax and now appears to be the top priority for the latter role.
90min initially reported on Man Utd’s interest in Antony in February and March, with their admiration of the player dating back prior to the appointment of Ten Hag.
Listen now to the Promised Land podcast, a show about Man Utd, with Scott Saunders & Rob Blanchette. The guys talk about rumoured interest in Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez and Hoffenheim’s David Raum, and also talk the latest on Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong & Antony.
Antony’s natural ability to play from the right side of the attack, with use of his left foot, would offer a balance to the United squad that hasn’t been filled for a number of years. Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial all prefer playing from the left flank or through the middle, with Anthony Elanga generally filling the position on the right towards the end of last season.
Suggestions a deal for Antony is close, 90min understands, are optimistic, with a reported fee of £40m falling under the valuation of the player. Ajax are hoping to recoup north of £50m because they are in no need of a sale, though Antony’s desire to push through a departure may help United in negotiations.
Ajax are in a healthy position. Ryan Gravenberch has already left the club for Bayern Munich this summer, while the Dutch champions also look set to recoup a large sum for Sebastien Haller, who is close to joining Borussia Dortmund. Lisandro Martinez, another United target, is available for the right price, while Edson Alvarez is also wanted by a number of clubs.
United have also tried to sign Jurrien Timber, though at present he looks set to stay in Amsterdam.