Manchester United are reportedly eyeing a new right-winger in the form of Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise in the summer transfer window. However, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS’ impending recruitment appointments could flaunt some shrewd business acumen with a bargain Antony replacement.
Antony has failed to register a single goal or assist in 22 appearances this season, drawing further attention to his underwhelming £86million transfer in 2022.
The 23-year-old Brazilian’s lacklustre contribution has sparked speculation about his security as a regular starter at Old Trafford.
Ratcliffe and INEOS are claimed to be keen on making Olise one of the first signings of their rule over United’s football operations.
But the Frenchman’s new release clause is expected to be worth significantly higher than the £35m value of the one in his previous Palace contract.
And another exciting young winger who has emerged in the Championship like Olise could represent a bargain if United take a punt.
Jonathan Rowe is enjoying a sensational breakout campaign at Norwich City and has already cemented himself as a regular starter aged 20.
On Saturday, the England U21 international scored his 13th goal of the season in a 2-0 win against West Bromwich Albion at Carrow Road.
He has 17 direct goal contributions to his name in 30 outings in all competitions, which will undoubtedly have attracted interest.
Rowe would be a left-field option, sure. But he can operate on both flanks and is likely valued at no more than half of the £86m fee United splashed on Antony.
The Red Devils require players who can make an instant impact rather than stars for the future. However, he would be welcome competition for Alejandro Garnacho, who is thriving on the right.
And Marcus Rashford could offer the exciting starlet crucial tutelage while he adapts to the demands of regular Premier League football under the microscope that comes naturally with being a United player.
United adopted a similar approach by signing Daniel James for around £15m from Swansea City in 2019.
But even while the Welshman didn’t come good at Old Trafford, his sale to Leeds United a couple of years later produced a healthy profit.
Rowe would bring resale value along with his sky-high potential. Players of his ilk have often joined mid-table Premier League clubs before joining a heavyweight in a big-money deal.
Rowe may prefer a similar approach rather than taking the almighty leap to United. But if the Red Devils come knocking, he could be tempted to become one of the most interesting first transfers of the Ratcliffe era.