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Manchester United join race for Marco Asensio as Ajax put 80m price tag on Antony

Real Madrid have decided to cut ties with long-serving winger Marco Asensio after eight years.

Los Merengues have put the 26-year-old up for sale as three of Europe’s top clubs look to offer him a way out of the Santiago Bernabeu.

As reported by Sport, AC Milan and Chelsea have been joined by Manchester United in the race to sign the Spaniard. 

Madrid have slapped a €40m price tag on Asensio’s shoulders, even though the player has only a year left to run on his current contract. 

During his eight-year stint in the Spanish capital, the left-footed star has earned the status of one of Europe’s finest forwards.

However, he lost his place in Madrid’s starting line-up, making just 19 La Liga starts last season. 

Asensio was not Carlo Ancelotti’s man for a big occasion by any stretch of the imagination. 

He was handed just 47 minutes of Champions League football, quarter-finals to the final, as Madrid now look to move him on to raise funds. 

Why are Man United linked with Asensio?

Newly-appointed boss Erik ten Hag aims to boost his attacking options in the summer after Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford flopped in 2021/22.

Both wingers performed below expectations under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, throwing their futures at Old Trafford into doubt.

It is enough to say that the 20-year-old Anthony Elanga leapfrogged both in the pecking order down the final stretch of last season. 

Sancho and Rashford will have an opportunity to convince ten Hag to give them a clean slate, especially with the Qatar World Cup approaching rapidly.

However, time is not the luxury Man United can afford right now after going five seasons without a trophy for the first time in the 21st century. 

It means the Red Devils need to intervene in the market to ensure another reliable option on the wing. 

That’s where Asensio’s name comes into play. 

The Spaniard has had ups and downs in Madrid, but his skills are still high in demand.

Yet, he is not the only winger linked with a move to the Theatre of Dreams.

Ajax’s high-flyer Antony remains ten Hag’s number one priority, but he costs too much.

What would it take to bring Antony to the Premier League?

The 22-year-old has been a revelation since swapping Sao Paulo for Amsterdam in 2020.

His blistering showings at the Johan Cruyff Arena have generated a genuine interest from a host of Europe’s elite sides, including Man United.

But a path leading to the Brazilian’s signature could be rather tumultuous.

As recently confirmed by Ajax’s new boss Alfred Schreuder, the Lancers intend to play hardball over Antony’s departure this summer

The reigning Eredivisie champions are holding out for a staggering €81m asking price to let their star go. 

So Man United would need to splash out double the amount it takes to lure Asensio away from Madrid.

It is needless to say the Spain international has more experience and has proven himself at a higher level, unlike his Ajax counterpart.

Antony has the potential to become one of the world’s best wingers, no question about that.

However, the question is – can Man United afford to spend another small fortune and hope it won’t backfire on them again?