Manchester United’s attack this season bears a lopsided look. The left-side is packed with talent with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho all comfortable playing down the left flank. Sancho was brought in to fix the right-sided problem but he shone when playing down the left last season. His pre-season goal against Liverpool also came when he switched flanks.
Even young Anthony Elanga prefers the left side though he was extensively used down the right by Ralf Rangnick. New boss Erik ten Hag is aware of these issues and hinted at it in his pre-match press conference on Thursday.
🇧🇷❗️#Liverpool are said to be keen on Ajax's Antony this summer and both sides are in talks over a potential move.
— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) July 14, 2022
“It was really good to see because you want to have weapons. When it is only on one side it is predictable, so we want that to develop over two sides,” was how the manager summed up the situation when asked about Sancho’s display.
It was clear indication that he needs to strengthen in that area and Sancho alone will not be enough in a season packed with matches and the World Cup.
That is why he had made Ajax right winger Antony his priority when he joined United. But Ajax’s steep valuation has meant any deal looks unlikely at the moment.
According to multiple sources, the Dutch champions are asking for as much as £69 million for the Brazilian off the back of his impressive performances under Ten Hag over the last two seasons.
Liverpool could hijack deal
United fans will not be happy to learn that Liverpool, who got thrashed in Bangkok and have lost Sadio Mane, intend to strengthen their attacking armory. And they have turned their attention to the Brazil international.
According to Yahoo Esportes, Liverpool ‘continue to talk’ to the Dutch giants about signing their player.
The news comes from Antony’s former club Sao Paulo. They had included a 20 per cent sell-on clause when they struck a deal with Ajax. And due to financial problems at the club currently, they are eagerly waiting to see if any potential club tries to buy the attacker.
While it was expected that United would be the front-runners for his signature due to the rapport shared between the manager and the player, Liverpool have ‘entered the game strongly’ and there could be chances of a deal being done soon.
United have so far refused to complete the deal at the set price especially with the future of Cristiano Ronaldo up in the air. If the top scorer from last term were to leave, that would free up the wage bill and persuade the United board to act.
Ten Hag has made no secret of his desire to add more firepower up front and a deal for Antony would take precedence once Frenkie de Jong and Ronaldo’s transfers take shape.