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Manchester United plotting “improved offer” for Antony

Manchester United are set to press on with their interest in Ajax winger, Antony, despite having been rebuffed by the Eredivisie outfit thus far.

What’s the word?

According to Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth, United are readying an “improved offer” for the 22-year-old, having already seen an 80m (£68m) bid rejected for the Brazil international last week.

Writing on Twitter about that potential fresh approach, the transfer insider revealed: “Manchester United likely to go back in with improved offer for Antony – either increase in fee or different structure. Antony wants move – told he “wasn’t mentally ready to play” today. United still interested in Gakpo & Pulisic if Antony is not possible.”

That aligns with a report from The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell who suggested that the Red Devils are contemplating a ‘fresh bid’ for the nine-cap gem, who was left out of his side’s win over Sparta Rotterdam on Sunday.

The suggestion in that piece is that the former Sao Paulo man – who still has three years left on his current deal at the Johan Cruyff Arena – could cost in the region of 100m (£85m).

New Van Nistelrooy

As has become the norm in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era at Old Trafford, the club are yet again left scrambling late in the window to try and get deals over the line, with the dismal start to the campaign under new boss Erik ten Hag having only exacerbated the need for further additions.

In the case of young Antony, however, it would appear that this desperate late attempt could well be worth it, with the £19k-per-week sensation having dazzled for the Amsterdam outfit of late.

The £31.5m-rated forward – who can feature all across the front line – has scored 24 goals and provided 22 assists in just 82 games for his current side to date, notably laying on 12 goal contributions in the league last season as Ten Hag’s side claimed the title.

The “wonderful” talent – as described by Dutch scout Piet de Visser – has also begun the new campaign in fine fashion, having scored twice and laid on two assists in just three games thus far for Alfred Schreuder‘s side.

A hugely skilful and dynamic forward player, the 5 foot 9 speedster would provide quality depth to a squad that currently has a real shortage of senior options in the forward line, with that fact only set to be exposed even further should wantaway icon Cristiano Ronaldo move on before deadline day.

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The hope will be that Antony can make a similar impact to that of another man who traded life in Holland for the Premier League in Ruud van Nistelrooy, with the current PSV Eindhoven boss having made an instant transition to life in an arguably tougher league.

After having to wait 12 months to seal his move due to concerns regarding his medical, the prolific marksman swiftly made up for lost time upon his delayed arrival at the Theatre of Dreams in 2001, notably netting twice on debut at home to Fulham.

That brace set the tone for what would be a stunning spell at the club for the ruthless Dutchman, as he went on to score 150 goals in just 219 games in all competitions under the legendary Ferguson, before his departure for Real Madrid in 2006.

While famed for his knack of netting inside the penalty area, the 70-cap gem was simply much more than just a tap-in merchant, as evidenced by his stunning solo goal against the Cottagers during the 2002/03 season, as he weaved his way past a sea of defenders before producing a typically lethal finish.

Antony, too, possesses that knack for bamboozling the opposition and driving his side forward from deep, as he notably ranks in the top 2% for progressive carries among those in his position across European competition.

At a time when United are currently on their knees, the Brazilian could well be the man to provide that much-needed lift to reverse their fortunes. While his adaptation to a new league and a new country may be a concern, as the case of Van Nistelrooy proves, quality players can seemingly shine anywhere.

Article title: Manchester United plotting “improved offer” for Antony

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