Manchester United haven’t ruled out signing Antony as they continue to push for Frenkie de Jong, it has been claimed. Both players have played under Erik ten Hag before. However, signing the duo from Ajax and Barcelona respectively won’t be straightforward given the complexities of any potential double deal.
It’s an open secret that United want to sign De Jong from Barcelona.
They’ve agreed a fee for the Netherlands international which is worth an initial £63million – a fee that would put him only behind the likes of Paul Pogba, Harry Maguire, Romelu Lukaku and Jadon Sancho when it comes to their costliest reinforcements.
And, now, Sky Sports say United continue to believe a deal for De Jong can be done.
Barcelona reportedly owe the midfielder around £14m to £17m in deferred wages after the 25-year-old agreed to take a pay cut at the start of the coronavirus pandemic two years ago.
And it’s claimed the only ‘obstacles’ blocking De Jong from United are ‘purely on Barcelona’s end’.
Publicly, the La Liga side have insisted the Netherlands international isn’t for sale.
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Yet with Barcelona needing the money from any potential parting of the ways, it’ll be curious to see what ends up happening.
Barcelona have played De Jong at centre-back during pre-season fixtures against the likes of Inter Miami and Real Madrid so far.
However, United are reportedly planning to use the midfielder in his natural position instead – which may appeal to the player.
The broadcasters add that United haven’t ruled out signing Antony, too.
The Brazil international dazzled under Ten Hag last term, scoring eight goals and registering four assists as Ajax won the Eredivisie title.
He’s drawn comparisons with Neymar as a result, with Antony possessing an eye for goals and countless skills and tricks.
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And though United’s current frontline have impressed in pre-season, they’re opening to bolstering their attack late in the transfer window as well.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s future remains uncertain, with the 37-year-old emerging as a transfer target for Atletico Madrid.
That’s despite the veteran previously spending nine years across the city with fierce rivals Real Madrid.
And Antony would be a good replacement for Ronaldo, if and when the Portugal international leaves for a second time.
Whether United are able to land Antony and De Jong this summer is something only time will tell.
And this latest update suggests the pair will be pursued as much as possible in the hope Barcelona and Ajax will sell up.
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United have signed three players so far this summer as they look to give Ten Hag the best possible chance of succeeding in the dugout.
Tyrell Malacia was the first to arrive, with the Netherlands left-back joining from Feyenoord – having previously looked set for Lyon.
Christian Eriksen has arrived on a free transfer, just over a year after he suffered a cardiac arrest at the European Championships.
And Lisandro Martinez has moved from Ajax, turning down a move to Arsenal in the process.
Regarding De Jong, meanwhile, Wes Brown recently said the Dutchman has the potential to be a big player for United.
“Yeah I do, I think he’s a quality player who is good on the ball,” he told Express Sport when asked about a potential deal.
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“He’s not shy with the ball and we obviously know we’ve had a lot of players leave, especially midfielders in general.
“Whether they were getting to the end, a bit older, but there’s been quite a lot gone.
“So we’re pretty thin there. Midfield is definitely a signing that we need and De Jong, I think, would fit the bill very nicely.”
Brown did say, however, that United need more recruits.
“Yeah,” he said when asked if United need more signings in the middle of the park.
“Four have gone and I’d say Mata and Matic were getting a little bit older, that can’t replace the experience and the quality that they have.”
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