Liverpool ‘coming strong’ for €70m Ten Hag favourite as Murtough pulls Man Utd from race

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Man Utd target Antony looks upset Credit: PA Images
Man Utd target Antony looks upset Credit: PA Images

Liverpool are reportedly ‘coming strong’ for Ajax winger Antony, who’s been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United this summer.

Antony has contributed 17 goals and 12 assists in his first two seasons in the Eredivisie following his £18m move from Sao Paulo.

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His performances have attracted a number of clubs around Europe, but Manchester United have been most heavily linked with the 22-year-old.

The Brazilian – valued at £70m by Ajax – thrived under new United boss Erik ten Hag in Amsterdam and the Dutchman is keen to have the forward to call on at Old Trafford next season.

But a report on Thursday suggests United may have backed out of negotiations for the winger.

United chief John Murtough has reportedly told Ten Hag that the club do not have the funds to sign new forwards as they focus their summer transfer kitty on more pressing areas of weakness in the squad.

He’s informed the Dutch boss that instead of relying on new signings, like Antony, in forward areas, he must instead attempt to get the best out of the likes of Anthony Martial, who looks set to be brought in from the cold after a loan spell with Sevilla last season.

And United backing away appears to have sparked Liverpool into action, as Jorge Nicola (via Sport Witness) claims Jurgen Klopp’s side have ‘been keeping negotiations’ with Ajax, along with Antony’s agent, Junior Pedroso.

Liverpool are ‘coming strong’ for the winger, who could be available for between €65m and €70m, and Nicola adds that ‘it’s very possible’ that ‘this auction ends positively for transfer’ before the end of the transfer window.

Meanwhile, Paul Merson believes Manchester City will have the edge over Liverpool again this season, as he has believes Darwin Nunez taking to the Premier League like Luis Diaz did when he arrived in January is a “long shot”.

“I think Manchester City will win the Premier League, but I have to say it’s not as much of a foregone conclusion as others make it out to be,” he wrote for Sportskeeda.

“Erling Haaland’s arrival is obviously a massive boost for Pep Guardiola, but it’s not the end of it with Liverpool still very much in the running. With the departures of Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling, Manchester City have lost at least 30 Premier League goals between the pair and that could turn out to be a huge problem for them.

“The only worry for Liverpool, on the other hand, is that they’ve lost an unbelievable player in Sadio Mane, who scored big goals for them over the years. They’ll have to rely on Darwin Nunez to settle as quickly as Luis Diaz did, which is obviously a long shot because the Colombian took to English football like a duck to water. If Jurgen Klopp can get Nunez firing immediately, it’ll be tight once again, but if that doesn’t happen, I think Manchester City should win the Premier League.”

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