Erik Ten Hag has said Antony’s arrival will add greater strength in depth for Manchester United in the attacking areas, although the Red Devils manager refused to go into detail until the transfer has been finalised.
The club announced on Tuesday that a deal in principle to sign the attacker from Ajax has been agreed, although it remains subject ‘to a medical, player terms being finalised, and international clearance’.
Asked about the transfer ahead of United’s clash with Leicester City on Thursday, Ten Hag gave a guarded response before explaining he felt United needed more numbers in the attacking areas.
“Firstly I have to sign him. There is an agreement between the clubs but the paperwork is not done. So, I cannot go too deep into that,” Ten Hag responded.
“Offensive departments, we still need to strengthen our squad because we have many games to cover. From now on we go in three games a week.
“As you know, offensive players are quicker to fatigue as they have to run more, run more at a higher intensity. We expect that from them and our way of play. So we need numbers, but not only numbers; we need not just quantity, but quality.”
United are also on the verge of completing a loan move for Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, and Ten Hag was asked if that will be the Red Devils’ final incomings before the window closes on Thursday.
“I think so, that will be the end for this window,” he said. “But when there is a great opportunity you have to be always alert as a top club.”
Despite that, there has been growing speculation in recent days that Aaron Wan-Bissaka will be leaving the club, with Crystal Palace among those interested in the right-back.
However, Ten Hag confirmed Wan-Bissaka will not be leaving United before the deadline.
“Of course Aaron is still here and he will stay,” the former Ajax manager revealed. “This squad, we will go from September until the minimum of January. We will play with this squad in the season.”
Another player who has been linked with a transfer from Old Trafford is Cristiano Ronaldo, but Ten Hag seemed to imply the lack of numbers in attack could prevent him from leaving.
“We need quality players. You need more to cover all the games and keep the consistency going. That’s what we strive for,” he opined.