Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd transfer news: Serie A star’s camp rue failed sale to Old Trafford amid new-season questions

Marko Arnautovic, Manolo Gabbiadini, October 2022

The representatives of Marko Arnautovic partly wish Manchester United had sealed the summer signing of the Bologna striker, a report claims.

The Red Devils sought attacking reinforcements as a major priority for manager Erik ten Hag. And all the while, they had their eyes firmly set on Ajax star Antony.

United ended up paying £84million for the Brazilian, who has settled in nicely with three goals so far.

But before Man Utd signed Antony, 33-year-old former Stoke and West Ham striker Arnautovic was on their radar.

Reports claimed that a deal failed to materialise because of the backlash from the Old Trafford faithful. Although, Bologna sporting director Marco Di Vaio insisted that Arnautovic wanted to stay as the main man up front there.

The Austrian has since scored six goals in nine Serie A games this term. Although, he has failed to score in three league games now and has struggled with minor injury niggles in training.

And Il Resto del Carlino has claimed that the injury issues and recent drought have led to concerns from Arnautovic’s agents.

The striker’s camp feel ‘a bit of regret over the past few days’ that their client did not return to the Premier League.

Arnautovic may have different priorities

Arnautovic has nevertheless settled well since returning to Europe in 2021 after a spell playing in China.

The 104-cap Austria star scored 14 goals in 33 Serie A games last term, although Bologna only finished 13th. This campaign, Arnautovic’s strong start has failed to get the club any higher than 17th.

The concern from his agents may be that their client still has enough to score goals at the top level and would have impressed back in the Premier League.

Although, at 33, Arnautovic is entering the twilight of his career. And he has become something of a journeyman, not so much interested in silverware anymore and instead focused on filling the final years of his career with adventures in different leagues.

The striker has now played for two clubs in Italy, two in England and also in the Netherlands and Germany.

His recent spell with China also took him to a different continent.

Striker was not Man Utd solution

United fans have been there before with recent last-ditch signings of ageing strikers who have failed to deliver their best.

Odion Ighalo arrived in January 2020 following a lengthy injury to Marcus Rashford.

And while Man Utd put off their Jadon Sancho search for a year later that year, they signed Edinson Cavani instead.

Arnautovic would have been the third player in that category and he would not have added as much as Antony.

Yes, he may have scored goals, but his shelf life is diminishing. At 22, Antony has already shown exciting potential – and has a lot more to offer having worked with Ten Hag before at Ajax.