New Manchester United manager Eric Ten Haag is targeting at least five signings before the transfer window closes.
Manchester Evening News Understands United are making progress in discussions over a fee for Barcelona midfielder Frankie de Jong, with the Catalan club insisting de Jong will be sold despite his preference to stay.
Ten Haag has set Jurien Timber as their main defensive target and is looking to sign Timber’s Ajax teammate, Antony, as well as Christian Eriksen out of contract at Brentford next week.
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Ten Haag last month told the prospect of meeting 25-year-old de Jong again at United, who developed the Netherlands international for 18 months at Ajax.
Barcelona are withholding fees for potentially up to £85million and United say they will not be held for ransom to ease Barca’s financial problems.
United worked on a deal for Calvin Phillips prior to Ten Haig’s official appointment but the existence of Leeds United and the interest of Manchester City made it less likely to secure a deal.
Ten Haag and United football director John Murtaugh have picked Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres and Braga defender David Carmo among options should the Timbers choose to stay at Ajax or move elsewhere.
Timber, 21, has indicated he will be comfortable at Ajax and has already sold Dutch champion Ryan Gravenberch, who was wanted by Ten Haag at United for Bayern Munich and will not be under pressure to sell Timber and Antony .
Until last week, United were expected to sign Timber, but uncertainty over his playing time ahead of the World Cup has cast the move into doubt.
Antony, 22, is a left-footed forward who has operated with his right hand in case of a problem at United for the past decade. Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Elanga have been most dominant from the left. Ajax are interested in winger Steven Bergwijn as Antony’s replacement.
Former Tottenham playwright Ericsson, 30, trained with Ajax last season as he regained fitness after suffering a cardiac arrest during Denmark’s European Championship group game against Finland last June and for three months at Brentford flourished.
Ericsson dismissed United in 2019 and eventually joined Inter Milan in January 2020 when he was managed by Antonio Conte. Conte, who now coaches Tottenham, is interested in re-signing Ericsson and Spurs have a Champions League football offer.
Dean Henderson’s expected departure is due to be offset with a back-up goalkeeper, with Newcastle number two Carl Darlow and Watford’s Daniel Bachmann under consideration.
Despite Nottingham Forest’s interest, Henderson is understood to have backed a move to Newcastle, who expressed interest in signing him in January. Newcastle robbed a loan swap involving Martin Dubrawka in the winter transfer window, which collapsed when Dubrawka refused to join United and is now suggesting Darlow.
Henderson, 25, was optimistic of a move in early May, but United were reluctant to approve a transfer without a replacement as he braced himself for six departures from the first-team squad.