Man Utd were partly convinced to increase their transfer budget by a bunch of senior players, according to reports.
The Red Devils completed six signings in the summer transfer market with Antony, Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Martin Dubravka all arriving.
That meant a total outlay of more than £200m this summer with rumours at the beginning of the summer than Erik ten Hag could have anything from £20m to £100m to spend.
The Athletic have confirmed that Man Utd spent a total of £229m on transfers this summer which is ‘the most in a single market for any United manager in history’.
It is understood that Ten Hag’s budget ‘was £120m’ when he took the reins this summer but there was a ‘spike in activity’ from Man Utd after they were humiliated 4-0 by Brentford in their second Premier League match of the season.
That result meant the United hiearchy ‘appreciated Ten Hag needed significant backing to have a chance of succeeding’ while a ‘group of senior players told the club hierarchy that reinforcements were required’.
Suddenly Man Utd came alive as a ‘delegation flew to Madrid for face-to-face talks on Casemiro’ while the Red Devils put in a fresh offer for Ajax winger Antony, despite reports earlier in the summer that they found the Dutch club’s asking price too expensive.
There is a feeling that United have ‘substantially overpaid’ for a number of targets this summer and that ‘additional £100m-plus on transfers’ could’ve been used to finance ‘the enormous cost of renovating and rebuilding Old Trafford and Carrington’.
Former Liverpool midfielder Didi Hamann thinks Man Utd paid a “ridiculous” amount for Antony, pointing to numerous flops from the Eredivisie.
“I do believe it’s a ridiculous amount of money to pay for him,” Hamann told The Games Cabin. “I can see the £60million for Anthony Gordon making more sense than £84million for Antony.
“If you look at the players that have left Ajax in recent years, you have Matthijs de Ligt who failed at Juventus, Barcelona want to get rid of Frenkie de Jong and Donny van de Beek went to Manchester United and was offloaded to Everton and didn’t even play at Everton.
“Hakim Ziyech also has failed at Chelsea. All these players coming from Ajax have failed. I know Erik ten Hag has previously coached Antony, but that’s something that sticks in the back of my mind.”
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