Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd draw up stunning £230k-a-week contract offer for La Liga livewire, with Antony under serious threat

Real Sociedad winger Takefusa Kubo and Athletic Club forward Nico Williams

Manchester United have ‘expressed interest’ in signing a pacy La Liga winger as they are already eyeing up potential replacements for Antony, according to reports.

Man Utd spent a huge £86million when landing Antony from Ajax in August last year. Red Devils chiefs wanted to show they were willing to back Erik ten Hag with his ideal signings, and this saw them pay way over the top for the Brazilian attacker.

The colossal deal made Antony the second-most expensive player in Man Utd’s history, behind only Paul Pogba (£89m).

However, Antony has failed to live up to expectations at Old Trafford, managing just eight goals and three assists in 62 appearances so far.

The 23-year-old is clearly a skilful player, but he is not as direct as a top-class Man Utd winger needs to be, while he also lacks the pace to get away from the opposition full-back after initially taking them on. And his poor decision-making is often a source of frustration for both Man Utd fans and pundits.

In November, former Man Utd star Louis Saha explained how Antony’s style of playing is also preventing centre-forward Rasmus Hojlund from being as effective as Ten Hag would like.

READ MORE: Ten Hag warned to think twice over dumping £70m Man Utd star despite youngster’s meteoric rise

“I don’t know, it was a really tough introduction to the Premier League for him,” Saha said.

“He was able to score a few goals, but now the defenders are aware of his game and read him very well.

‘Predictable’ Antony has ‘had no joy’ at Man Utd

“He has no joy because he’s predictable and as a striker, when a winger is cutting in and putting in a cross, they provide types of balls that are really hard to read and connect with.

“You need crosses that are hit with pace in between the defenders and the goalkeeper and that’s not what Antony is providing.

“Manchester United now have a striker that’s looking for those types of crosses but Antony isn’t offering those options.”

Despite Ten Hag being a fan of Antony and consistently selecting him, incoming minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe could look to bring in a new right winger who can form a deadly partnership with Hojlund. And on Thursday, it emerged that Real Sociedad ace Takefusa Kubo is a target for Man Utd.

He is an explosive Japan international who has registered six goals and four assists from 24 games this term. The 22-year-old, who is fantastic at dribbling and manoeuvring away from defenders in tight spaces, was on Real Madrid’s books between 2019 and 2022 but left for Sociedad before the start of last season.

According to the latest from Spanish source Mundo Deportivo (via Sport Witness), senior Man Utd officials have ‘expressed their interest’ in Kubo to their Sociedad counterparts.

The wide man is currently ‘very happy’ at Sociedad, as he has found a permanent home after several loan spells away from Madrid. And his new La Liga club are giving him the perfect platform to thrive.

Man Utd gunning for lively new right winger

But Man Utd want to convince Kubo on a move to the Premier League and have therefore drawn up a huge contract offer. While the attacker currently earns just €38,400 (£33,200) per week at Sociedad, Man Utd are supposedly willing to times that wage by seven. That would see Kubo earn a huge £230k a week in Manchester.

The report also provides some detail on how much Man Utd would have to pay to strike an agreement with Sociedad. Kubo’s release clause stands at €60m (£52m), and Man Utd would need to pay this in full to complete a deal.

Sociedad have no intention of selling Kubo midway through the campaign, so Man Utd would have to wait until next summer before signing him.

This means Man Utd supporters will presumably have to endure another six months of watching Antony play on the right flank. But the fact Man Utd are at least looking at alternative wingers will give them some encouragement. Such reports could also give Antony extra motivation to finally turn his underwhelming spell around.

Meanwhile, West Ham are reportedly battling Man Utd for a top manager, with the Irons preparing for life after David Moyes.