Key Premier League Fixtures 2022/23
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Brazil icon Rivaldo has urged Raphinha and Antony to join ‘bigger clubs’ in order to boost their chances of taking up prominent roles in Tite’s squad for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. The two wingers have been heavily linked with moves elsewhere this summer, with Raphinha said to be the subject of interest from Arsenal, who reportedly saw an initial bid turned down by Leeds United earlier this week.
Antony, meanwhile, is believed to be a target for Manchester United after excelling under the guidance of Erik ten Hag during his time at Ajax over the last few years. Rivaldo believes that both players could firm up their World Cup ambitions by moving on to pastures new this summer, although he feels that they would likely be called up by Brazil regardless of whether or not they leave their current clubs over the next few weeks.
“Another player that is heavily under the Premier League’s radar is Ajax’s Antony, who enjoyed a fantastic 2021-22 season and I’m sure he attracted the attention of bigger clubs,” wrote Rivaldo in his column for Betfair.
“At the moment, Manchester United – who have his former manager Erik ten Hag – seems to be the closest club to signing him and I’m confident we’ll all enjoy watching him play at Old Trafford.
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“Just like Raphinha, he might benefit from playing at a bigger club to get closer to being a regular at the World Cup, though I also think his place in the squad is safe since Tite has been calling him up lately and has confidence in his qualities.”
It remains to be seen whether Raphinha and Antony will move on from Leeds and Ajax respectively if Arsenal and United keep up the chase over the coming weeks and months. The Gunners are said to be planning a new and improved bid for the former, who has reportedly been valued at around £65million by his current employers.
Raphinha is thought to be open to leaving Leeds this summer despite being tied down to the Yorkshire club until the summer of 2024. He bagged 11 goals in the Premier League last season to help Leeds retain their top-flight status with a late push for survival, including a crucial strike from the penalty spot against Brentford on the final day of the campaign.
Meanwhile, United are said to have already held talks over a move for Antony, who joined Ajax from Sao Paulo back in the summer of 2020. Other reports have claimed that he is keen to link up with Ten Hag once again by making the switch to Old Trafford, where he would be expected to compete with the likes of Jadon Sancho, Anthony Elanga and Marcus Rashford for a regular starting spot.
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