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Manchester United have ruled out signing Antony this summer, it has been claimed. Erik ten Hag previously managed the Brazil international and has been pushing for a deal to be agreed since rocking up at Old Trafford. However, despite previous suggestions the Red Devils were edging closer to landing the forward, it appears a deal is now currently dead in the water.
Manchester United want a new forward this summer.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s future remains up in the air, despite the veteran recently returning to Carrington for the first time since making it clear he wants to leave for a team playing in the Champions League.
Mason Greenwood may never play for the club again, while the Red Devils have also seen Edinson Cavani depart on a free transfer after two years in the Premier League.
With that being the case, United have been pursuing Antony throughout the summer.
But Beyond the Pitch journalist Phil Brown, writing on Twitter, has claimed United have now shelved plans to sign the Ajax star – with only a ‘slim chance’ of a U-turn.
“Exclusive: Manchester United have given up on their pursuit of Anthony (sic) due to Ajax’s asking price,” he said.
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“There is a slim chance it could be revisited if other moves don’t come off but it’s off the agenda for the moment.”
Ajax have been looking for a fee close to £70million to part ways with the 22-year-old, who scored eight Eredivisie goals last term.
Yet United have been reluctant to go that high, preferring to spend nearer to £60m on the Brazil international instead.
It appears they’re now prepared to walk away for good, despite Ten Hag making it clear to the Red Devils hierarchy that Antony would be a key part of his rebuild.
United may, now, look at pursuing alternatives to the forward.
One name in the frame is Benjamin Sesko, who is the latest teenage talent from the Red Bull Salzburg production line.
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And he did his chances of a move to Old Trafford no harm by scoring the winner in his side’s 1-0 friendly win over Liverpool on Wednesday night.
United may even need to forget about signing a new forward entirely in the event they miss out on Frenkie de Jong, who is Ten Hag’s top transfer target.
Though the Red Devils have agreed a fee with Barcelona for the midfielder, a move looks tricky due to the 25-year-old’s reluctance to jump ship.
And United may end up having to spend big on alternatives if the Netherlands international continues to insist on staying at the Nou Camp.
Wolves have made it clear they’d want close to £100m for Ruben Neves, who has long been of interest to the United board.
Reports back in January said the hierarchy at Old Trafford feel he’d have no problem adjusting to life at the club due to the presence of the likes of Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot.
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So his name is certainly one to keep an eye on.
It’s also possible United will test West Ham’s resolve over Declan Rice, too, if they end up missing out on De Jong.
However, with the start of the new Premier League season creeping closer, it’s feasible the Hammers will make any potential United pursuit extremely tricky.
Regarding Antony, meanwhile, Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder said last month he was eager to keep hold of the winger despite United’s interest.
“Clearly, we want to keep the boy. He has a contract until 2025, but I’m not about that [any individual players],” he said.
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“I’m about the squad and I really want to work with him. He knows that and the club know that too.”
And, just recently, he insisted that he ‘wasn’t afraid’ of losing Antony.
“I am not afraid of anything. We know that we have very good players and we assume that the selection stays together,” he said.
“You never know for sure.”
If United do sign Antony, it will be their fourth raid on Ajax over the last decade.
Daley Blind moved from Amsterdam to England back in 2014, with Donny van de Beek and Lisandro Martinez since doing the same.
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