Any Manchester United transfer window is full with twists and turns.
This summer has been no exception, with the club doing well in bringing in Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, and Lisandro Martinez while learning that talisman Cristiano Ronaldo no longer wishes to be a part of the project.
For the time being, new Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag is optimistic and has held crunch meetings with the Portuguese international at Carrington this Tuesday, alongside Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes and, reportedly, special guest Sir Alex Ferguson. The Dutchman is still hoping to persuade the 37-year-old to stay at United.
If Ten Hag is unable to persuade Ronaldo to change his mind, the Red Devils manager has identified Ajax striker Anthony as a possible long-term replacement.
Ten Hag has already received permission from his previous club’s technical director, Gerry Hamstra, to make a bid for the Brazilian.
“We want to keep this group together. I am assuming that nobody will leave from this core,” Hamstra told Voetbal International, when asked if Anthony could leave.
“Of course, you can never say never, I have learned that. But we also talk to the players about it and have discussions. Also with guys who might have a wish to leave. And that Ajax players are in demand, that is logical, there is capital on the pitch. They are all boys who have developed further with us.”
Frenkie de Jong, a Barcelona midfielder, is also on United’s radar, and signing the Dutchman alongside Anthony would be a pretty ideal window for Ten Hag, regardless of what Ronaldo decides to do.
The problem with De Jong is that he does not want to leave Barcelona, despite the fact that the Catalan club is virtually driving him out of the Camp Nou.
United are unable to provide the midfielder Champions League football this season, which is a major reason for De Jong’s rejection of the Red Devils’ efforts thus far.
However, according to the Spanish newspaper Sport, De Jong has changed his mind about leaving Barcelona in recent weeks and would contemplate a move to the Premier League.
The problem for United, though, is that De Jong would reportedly rather join Chelsea.