Manchester United are pondering their next course of action after reportedly seeing a second offer for Ajax star Antony once again fall short.
The summer transfer window has so far proved a frustrating time for new United boss Erik ten Hag. Trying to assemble and better his squad, he has managed three signings so far. And while Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez do strengthen his hand, he has had to wait patiently over other deals.
Indeed, he still hopes to strengthen his midfield and attack before the window closes on September 1. And their long-standing interest in Frenkie de Jong finally looks over with reality biting for Ten Hag and United.
As such, Monday’s Transfer Gossip claims they now have renewed hope of securing Fabian Ruiz as a bargain alternative.
And were they to land the Spanish star on the cheap, that would still allow them funds to pursue a new attacking addition.
To that end, a move for Antony has long been on the radar. Their opening bid, worth around £50m, was spurned for the Brazilian earlier this summer.
And having sold Martinez to United, the Eredivisie champions are in no mood to see a second top star follow Ten Hag to Manchester.
As a result, claims have been made that Ajax are ready to up their initial £67m asking price to a far loftier fee.
However, that has not stopped United chancing their arm once again with a new and improved bid for the 22-year-old.
To that end, Goal Brasil claims the Red Devils have seen a second offer knocked back by Ajax. While the exact amount of that bid is not disclosed, it reportedly falls some distance short of Ajax’s valuation for the forward.
Man Utd consider next course of action over Antony
United will now consider their next course of action over the coming days, having seen the offer rejected.
Ten Hag remains keen to strengthen his attack. As such, he is determined to take the weight off Cristiano Ronaldo’s shoulders.
But he will be wary of being drawn into another long-drawn out transfer saga. It took several days of tough negotiations to secure the signing of Martinez from his previous employers.
And he will also be wary of the fact that Ajax also managed to drive up the price for the star with Arsenal also keen.
With a month left of the window, United, though, do still do have time on their side.
However, the first game of the season fast approaching, Ten Hag will likely start the campaign with his current options.
One alternative seemingly opening up for Ten Hag is Atletico Madrid’s Yannick Carrasco.
The 28-year-old has a £50m (€60m) release clause in his Atletico deal, a fee within United’s reach.
The Belgian played 44 times for Atletico last season, scoring six goals and assisting with seven more.
Now reports in Spain claim United will turn to Carrasco if they fail to make further headway over Antony.
Summer of discontent for Man Utd and Ten Hag
United’s failure to secure Champions League football last season has certainly made life tough for Ten Hag.
That failure has hit the club’s income hard as well as their subsequent spending power. In addition, it has also damaged their chances of landing a number of prospects.
United, obviously, feel like they deserve their place among the top clubs in world football. But without Champions League football on offer, they appear less of a draw to their top targets. That is certainly one of the factors damaging their efforts to sign De Jong.
There is also the fact that many clubs simply use the Red Devils to generate a ‘Manchester United tax’. Perhaps smelling a sense of desperation and the enormity of the club, it is quite common for clubs to try and make them pay above the odds.
Ajax winger Antony pushing for Premier League move
Antony wants to leave Ajax this summer with a transfer to the Premier League to Chelsea or Manchester United most likely
Add into the fact that – in Antony’s case – Ajax don’t want to sell another star to them, and it all points to a frustrating summer for Ten Hag.
There is time still on their side, of course. But with the new season beginning on Sunday against Brighton, time is now of the essence.