Man Utd have Antony transfer plan but have easier option in case Ajax swoop fails

ten Hag slams 'naive' Man Utd after defeat to Brentford

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Manchester United are not giving up on their pursuit of Ajax winger Antony but have other irons in the fire in case they fail to bring the Brazilian maestro to Old Trafford this summer, according to reports. The Red Devils are thought to be in the market for additional reinforcements at the top of the pitch as Erik ten Hag looks to add some much-needed quality to his squad before next month’s all-important deadline.

Antony is believed to be a priority target for those in power at United after excelling under Ten Hag’s guidance at Ajax over the course of last season. United have failed to reach an agreement with the Dutch giants as of yet but will launch a renewed approach for his signature before the end of the window, according to Fabrizio Romano.

It is said that the Red Devils are planning to chase Antony for the rest of the month as they aim to wrap up a deal to secure his services in the not-too-distant future. The likelihood of a move is said to be ‘very difficult’, though, as a result of Ajax’s desire to keep hold of the 22-year-old for at least another season.

Although United’s main priority will be to land Antony between now and next month’s transfer deadline, they are still keeping tabs on PSV Eindhoven wide man Cody Gakpo as a potential alternative to the Ajax man. Gakpo is viewed as an ‘easier option’ and has been placed near the top of United’s shortlist behind only Antony after establishing himself as one of Europe’s most exciting young talents over the last few years.

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United have also been linked with a potential loan move for Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic, who has fallen out of favour under the management of Thomas Tuchel since the German coach’s arrival at Stamford Bridge. However, the proposed move reportedly depends on the approval of Blues owner Todd Boehly, with United not prepared to wait around as things stand.

It remains to be seen whether a deal to snap up Antony will eventually be struck over the coming weeks or if United will be forced to look elsewhere in their search for at least one new attacker this summer. The Red Devils have already been told that Antony would adapt well to life in the Premier League under Ten Hag by former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson, who believes that the winger would prove himself as a shrewd acquisition if he is poached by United before the end of the transfer window.

“Antony is a top player,” Robinson told Football Insider. “He is strong, good on the ball and can cut in and shoot from distance. He can play down the middle as well but he is most effective off the left-hand side.

“A two-footed player who gets goals and assists. He has been a big part of what Ajax have achieved in the last 18 months. I have watched him closely covering the Eredivisie for a broadcaster.

“He is certainly a player who would flourish in the Premier League. He will not score 30 goals a season but he will contribute goals and assists. He is direct.”

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