Man Utd chiefs Richard Arnold and John Murtough acknowledge ‘doomsday transfer scenario’

Manchester United CEO Richard Arnold and football director John Murtough are confident they can avoid a frantic end to the transfer window despite their lack of business so far.

The Red Devils are yet to make a summer signing so far but have been linked with a number of players as Erik ten Hag begins to re-structure his squad. They are at risk of being left further behind as Tottenham have already signed three players while Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City have been busy in the market.

It is clear, however, that Frenkie de Jong is United’s top priority with Ten Hag keen to reunite with the midfielder. Barcelona are willing to sell the player for the right fee as they look to get out of their financial mess, so the Red Devils appear to be in no rush to sign the former Ajax prospect.

Meanwhile, Ajax winger Antony is another target after he scored eight goals and grabbed four assists in 23 Eredivisie appearances last season. United chiefs have reportedly travelled out to Amsterdam for talks over agreeing a deal for the £40million-rated player. They are also hoping to add a defender to their ranks after Jurrien Timber turned down the chance to join Ten Hag in Manchester.

Although it has been a slow start to the window, The Guardian claims Arnold and Murtough are staying calm and hope to seal the transfer of De Jong before United’s pre-season trip to Thailand on July 8. Ten Hag wants the Netherlands international ready for his first game in charge against Liverpool four days later. If this is not possible, then the plan is to ensure he is available for the opening-weekend Premier League clash with Brighton.

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United’s stance is that there is no need to panic because of Barca’s financial position and it appears there are zero competitors for the player. Arnold and Murtough will not be rushed in their pursuit of De Jong and are preparing a second bid of around €70million (£60m) plus add-ons after seeing an initial €60m (£52m) offer turned down.

The Red Devils remain confident they do not need to rush their pursuit of De Jong and there is plenty of time to conclude their business. Ten Hag is also believed to be pushing to sign Christian Eriksen, the former Tottenham and Inter Milan star who shone on loan at Brentford earlier this year. The Dane trained with Ajax last year as he worked his way back to fitness following his cardiac arrest at Euro 2020.

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