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In January, Erik ten Hag was prepared to approve a shocking trade for Antony after identifying a replacement.

According to sources, Erik ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, is prepared to approve a trade that would allow Antony to depart the team in January.

The Brazilian winger was acquired by United from Ajax for an eye-watering £85 million last summer; this transfer cost is still the highest the team has shelled out under Ten Hag.

However, Antony hasn’t lived up to his high asking price thus far, making just 11 games this season without a goal or an assist.

On Monday, Manchester United great Gary Neville expressed his belief that the trade should never have been finalized and said that Ajax ‘couldn’t believe’ how much the Manchester club spent for Antony last summer.

Ten Hag is said to be prepared to act in January as the winger is under increasing pressure to perform.

The Daily Mirror claims that Ten Hag has given the go-ahead for United to make an offer to Antony in return for his teammate Gabriel Barbosa, a Brazil international, from Flamengo.

Reportedly, the 27-year-old striker is the club’s objective because of Financial Fair Play (FFP) constraints; because of his contract expiring next year, ‘Gabigol’ might be available for £20 million.

According to the report, as part of the agreement, Flamengo is interested in loaning Antony.

Any move would allow United to either sell Antony on or reintegrate him into the first team when he returns to Old Trafford, giving him the chance to regain some of the form that made them pay Ajax such a large money for his services last summer.

While all was going on, Barbosa scored eighteen goals in the Brazilian top division last season and has long been a target of elite European clubs.

However, his one and only encounter with European football was not a happy one. He spent over €30 million to sign with Inter Milan when he was 20 years old, but he only managed one goal in ten appearances before having a brief, fruitless loan at Benfica.

Though it may be argued that his relocation to Europe came at too early a time, his goal scoring record since returning to Brazil (152 goals in five years) indicates that he could have a big influence at United.

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