Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is ready to sanction a swap deal for Antony to leave the club in January, according to reports.
United paid an eye-watering £85 million to sign the Brazilian winger from Ajax last summer, and the fee remains the biggest the club have paid out under Ten Hag.
But Antony has failed to live up to his price tag thus far, and hasn’t scored a goal or provided an assist in 11 appearances this term.
United legend Gary Neville claimed on Monday that Ajax ‘couldn’t believe’ how much the Manchester club paid for Antony last summer, and added his view that the deal should never have been completed.
Now, with pressure mounting on the winger, Ten Hag is reportedly ready to act in January.
According to theDaily Mirror, United are willing to offer Antony in a part-exchange deal to sign hisBrazilinternational team-mate Gabriel Barbosa from Flamengo – and Ten Hag is said to have green lit the move.
It is claimed that the club are targeting the 27-year-old striker due to Financial Fair Play (FFP) restrictions, with ‘Gabigol’ potentially available for £20 million due to his contract expiring next year.
The report adds that Flamengo are interested in signing Antony on loan as part of the deal.
Any move would give Antony the chance to rediscover some of his form that led to United paying Ajax such a huge fee for his services last summer, and either allow them to sell him on or reintegrate him into the first team when he returns to Old Trafford.
Barbosa, meanwhile, netted 18 goals in the Brazilian top flight last season and has been on the radar of top European clubs for a number of years.
But his sole experience of European football wasn’t a positive one. At the age of 20, he signed for Inter Milan for a fee of around €30 million, but scored just one goal in 10 games before a short and unsuccessful loan spell at Benfica.
It can be argued, though, that his move to Europe was perhaps too early, and his rate of goalscoring since his return to Brazil – he has 152 goals to his name in five years – shows that he could make a significant impact at United.