Manchester United’s transfer window has been far from plain sailing. Only three players have signed thus far and arguably, only one player of real significance has been signed.
Much of the summer has been spent trying to convince Frenkie de Jong that he would be better off by joining the Old Trafford club but thus far, their attempts have been unsuccessful.
Erik ten Hag, who lost his first game in charge of the side last week, wants to add firepower and Antony, whom he managed at Ajax, was earmarked as a potential candidate.
The Amsterdam club’s high asking price proved to be a stumbling block, however, and Ten Hag identified Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech as an alternative – another player he worked with at Ajax and of a similar profile to Antony.
According to the Manchester Evening News, Ten Hag’s interest in Ziyech has been met by resistance from the United hierarchy. This development comes just days after moves for Marko Arnautovic and Adrien Rabiot were sanctioned after the manager’s request.
Ziyech has three years remaining on his contract at Chelsea and the London club are under no pressure to sell but the Moroccan international is surplus to requirements and would be a cheap option.
Thus far, United have allowed Ten Hag to dictate the club’s moves in the transfer market. His preference for Dutch players and/or players he has worked with in the past is clear.
But the decision to veto Ten Hag’s wish to sign Ziyech could be the most obvious indication yet that a change of strategy is being implemented for the final three weeks of the window.
United are in desperate need of at least three more players and are grossly imbalanced across the pitch. Ziyech probably won’t sign but a player in that position still needs to be added to the squad.