Jurgen Klopp on Erik ten Hag appointment
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Manchester United transfer target Antony reportedly wants to take the next in his career this summer after his Ajax boss Erik ten Hag was appointed as the Red Devils’ new head coach. The Premier League club confirmed on Thursday that Ten Hag will take over from Ralf Rangnick in the summer.
A lengthy six-month recruitment process has culminated in the Dutchman winning the job. Ten Hag is believed to have been interviewed at least twice and has beaten Mauricio Pochettino to win the role.
Those discussions are likely to have included talks over possible transfer targets. United have already been linked with several players since Ten Hag was reported as a likely candidate to lead United’s rebuild.
Ajax winger Antony has been rumoured to be of interest to the Old Trafford outfit, who sit sixth in the Premier League and are on the brink of failing to qualify for the Champions League. The Brazilian has starred for the Dutch side since moving from Sao Paulo in 2020.
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And the 22-year-old’s summer plans have become clearer since Ten Hag’s announcement. According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Antony wants to make the ‘next step’ in his career when the 2021-22 season comes to an end.
United will face a battle for Antony’s signature, with a host of Europe’s top clubs also interested in the forward. Earlier this month, Italian outlet Calciomercato claimed that Juventus were ‘intensifying’ discussions with the player’s representatives.
A productive wide man, Antony has scored 22 goals and provided a further 20 assists in 79 appearances during his two seasons at Ajax. That includes 10 strikes and eight assists in 33 games this season.
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Of United’s forwards, only Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more, while Bruno Fernandes is the only Red Devils star with more assists this term. Ronaldo has struck 21 times across all competitions but reportedly faces an uncertain future with Ten Hag understood to be unsure if the icon’s ability to play in his system.
ESPN claimed earlier this month that one of Ten Hag’s first tasks will be to sanction the departure of fans’ favourite Ronaldo. The 37-year-old has been productive this season, although most of his goals came under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Ronaldo had scored just six goals for Rangnick before Saturday’s hat-trick against Norwich. He could depart in the summer, with Ten Hag preferring an energetic, high-pressing playing style that Ronaldo might struggle to fit into.
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