Manchester United may have kickstarted their Premier League season by beating Liverpool but Erik ten Hag is still pushing ahead with bringing in more new signings before the window closes.
Prior to Monday night’s electrifying 2-1 win at Old Trafford, £59.5million acquisition Casemiro was paraded in front of the supporters after completing his move from Real Madrid.
Ten Hag described the Brazilian as the ‘cement between the stones’ to provide solidity and balance in midfield, but the Dutch coach is also eager to add more attacking flair to his side too.
United have already had several approaches for Ajax’s flamboyant winger Antony rejected, but the Red Devils will now test the Dutch side’s resolve with a mammoth new offer.
According to The Athletic, United are set to submit an improved bid worth €94million (£79m) – a figure which would make the 22-year-old the club’s third-most expensive signing ever behind Paul Pogba and Harry Maguire.
Ajax had been holding out for an offer in excess of €100m (£84m) but could accept United’s slightly lower offer, particularly with Antony putting pressure on the Eredivisie side to let him leave.
The former Sao Paulo winger moved to Amsterdam for just £13m in 2020 and Ajax recognise they are in line to make a mammoth profit.
Antony declined to train with the rest of the squad on Friday and Saturday last week and was subsequently left out of their matchday squad for Sunday’s win over Sparta Rotterdam.
He also got United fans very excited with his social media activity on Monday night, having watched the Red Devils’ win over Liverpool from his home in Amsterdam to further tease the possibility of a switch to Old Trafford.
Personal terms will not be a problem and he is already thought to have an informal agreement with United, while he is eager to be reunited with Ten Hag.
Speaking after the victory over Liverpool – which saw both Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford get on the scoresheet – Ten Hag made it clear that he wanted to bolster his attacking options with a quality addition ahead of what will be a long and demanding season.
Asked how many more signings he would like to make, Ten Hag told Sky Sports: ‘You can never tell. We said from the beginning we want to bring the right players in, not just any players.
‘I think now again we have the right player [in Casemiro], I’m convinced of that. The window is not closed. You see you need numbers, but not only numbers you need quality.
‘They gave so much and I think when you bring it on the pitch you will get stronger physically and mentally, but when you have to bring it every three days you need numbers – especially in the front. Quality numbers.’