August 13, 2022

Manchester United have prioritized signing a central midfielder this summer as the club remain in talks with Barcelona to sign Frenkie de Jong.

United have also asked Ajax initial questions about the winger Anthonywho is also well known to new boss Erik ten Hag for having been a regular in his Ajax side for the past two seasons.

They are also interested in the Ajax defender Jurrien Bois.

The 22-year-old is one of many players United have watched – another was bound for Liverpool Darwin Nunezwho is set to join the Reds in an £85m deal from Benfica.

What’s up on De Jong?

There has been no official offer for United’s De Jong yet, with clubs still apart in their assessments of the 25-year-old, but all parties are increasingly confident a deal can be concluded.

United, however, will focus on other targets if they cannot negotiate a reasonable price with the Spanish giants.

De Jong is a player Ten Hag knows well and particularly appreciates having managed the Dutch international at Ajax, where he was part of the team that won the 2018/19 Eredivisie title and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.

United are set to sign at least one midfielder this summer, with Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata all leaving Old Trafford.

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Paul Pogba having left Man Utd in the summer, could he be replaced by Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong?

De Jong’s contract with Barca runs until summer 2026 but the club’s financial problems could mean he is ready to sell this summer.

United investigating Antony | Nunez was not a priority target

Another priority for United this summer is a striker who can play on the front line, but not necessarily an absolute number nine.

Antoine, Ajax star
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Ajax winger Antony scored 10 goals in all competitions last season

United have posed initial questions to Ajax about winger Antony, who is also well known to Ten Hag for having been a regular in his Ajax side for the past two seasons.

The 22-year-old is one of many players United have been looking for – as has Liverpool-bound Nunez.

Sky Sports News were told the Uruguay striker was not a priority target as United were not interested in completing a deal at the quoted prices.

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Portuguese football expert Pedro Sepulveda suggests Darwin Nunez may be feeling pressure at Liverpool due to his €100m price tag

United never made an official offer to the Portuguese side and were unwilling to enter a bidding war for the 22-year-old.

United remain interested in Timber

Ajax...s Jurrien Timber runs during the Dutch Premier League Eredivisie soccer match between Ajax and Vitesse at the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands on Sunday August 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
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Ajax defender Jurrien Timber made 38 appearances in all competitions last season

Manchester United also remain interested in Ajax defender Jurrien Timber – another player who was a regular for Ten Hag at the Dutch champions.

United are also eyeing other centre-backs, including Villarreal’s Pau Torres.

April 12, 2022, Bavaria, Munich: Football: Champions League, Bayern Munich - Villarreal FC, knockout round, quarter-finals, second leg in the Allianz Arena.  Villarreal's Pau Francisco Torres celebrates after the game.  Photo by: Sven Hoppe/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
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Villarreal defender Pau Torres is a Manchester United target this summer

But with United well supplied in central defence, it is understood that the priority remains recruitment in midfield and attack.

Ten Hag wants to bring in new players this window but also wants to assess his current squad.

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this summer as the transfer window closes at 11 p.m. on September 1?

Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumors in our dedicated Transfer Hub blog at Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up on the ins, outs and analysis at Sky Sports News