The Red Devils’ leadership has been searching for a long-term replacement for interim manager Ralf Rangnick, and Ten Hag was interviewed last week, with the Dutch coach now the frontrunner to take over at Old Trafford.
He still has competition in the form of Mauricio Pochettino of PSG and Luis Enrique of Spain, but he made a strong impression on the club during his formal interview.
Ten Hag is said to have enquired about United’s ambition and transfer budget during the meeting, and he appears to have already identified the first player he wants to sign
According to The Telegraph, he is eager to bring Brazilian international Anthony to Manchester, with the 22-year-old impressing under Ten Hag’s tutelage at Ajax.
Antony has 10 goals and 8 assists in 30 appearances in the Eredivisie and Champions League this season, following a season in which he contributed 17 goals in the league.
His exploits since moving from Sao Paulo to Amsterdam have garnered him a lot of praise, and he’s been associated with Barcelona in the past, as well as eight caps for Brazil and a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics.
There is rumored to be a lot of interest in Antony, but the idea of staying with Ten Hag could be a big role in his decision.
Despite buying Jadon Sancho to play on the right wing last summer, there is a belief at United that his best position is on the left, and as a result, the club is expected to seek a new right winger this summer – and Antony fits the bill well.
Even if Ten Hag does not get the United job, he still wants to sign Antony at whichever club he ends up with.
By the end of April, United hopes to have completed all background checks and interviews with potential managers, with the goal of announcing the new manager as soon as the season is done, so the coach can contribute to the summer recruitment plan and aims.
United’s administration believes the club needs two new midfielders — one who is more defensive and the other who is more attack-minded – as well as a striker, in addition to a new right winger.