Manchester United are in the market for attacking reinforcements during the summer transfer window of 2022, with GOAL able to confirm that Ajax star Antony is being lined up for a potential reunion with new Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag.
The Brazil international forward has emerged as a top target for Premier League heavyweights and could find himself joining an exclusive club at Old Trafford.
Only eight players from his nation have represented United down the years, with all of those linking up with one of the most decorated clubs in world football since the turn of the 21st century.
Who are they and what have they contributed to the Red Devils cause during their time in English football? GOAL takes a look ahead of another Samba star seeing a big-money switch speculated on…
- A man that savoured World Cup glory in 2002 made history a year later when becoming the first Brazilian to represent Manchester United. He had attracted interest from leading sides across Europe, but opted to join the Red Devils for £6.5 million ($8m) as a midfield replacement for Juan Sebastian Veron.
An unfortunate injury was picked up in just his second outing for the club and he would take in only 30 games in total before joining Besiktas in 2005.
Sir Alex Ferguson invested £20 million ($25m) worth of faith in the promising teenager after seeing him burst onto a senior stage at Gremio and Porto. Within 12 months of his arrival at Old Trafford, Anderson collected the prestigious Golden Boy award in 2008.
He would take in 181 appearances for the Red Devils in total, winning four Premier League titles and a Champions League crown along the way, but never truly convinced as form and fitness deserted him.
Another hot prospect that United bought into with the hope of turning him into a superstar. A move from Internacional to Old Trafford was completed in January 2008 and he made his debut when replacing Ryan Giggs in a Premier League meeting with Newcastle in the August of that year.
Possebon collected Community Shield and League Cup winners’ medals alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, but suffered a serious injury and was offloaded after making just eight appearances.
Rafael da Silva
Could be considered the most successful of United’s Brazilian imports after becoming something of a cult hero to those at Old Trafford. The diminutive full-back could always be relied upon to give his all, while also playing with a smile on his face.
He made 170 appearances for the Red Devils across seven seasons and helped them to three Premier League titles, a League Cup triumph, a Club World Cup crown and two Champions League finals.
Fabio da Silva
Fabio joined United alongside twin brother Rafael after impressing scouts at the 2005 Nike Premier Cup in Hong Kong. He found himself stuck behind Patrice Evra in the left-back pecking order after moving to England from Fluminense and was restricted to 56 appearances in five years.
Won the Premier League and graced a Champions League final during his time at Old Trafford and would go on to spend further time in England with Queens Park Rangers, Cardiff and Middlesbrough.
The talented playmaker joined United’s academy ranks in 2011 and landed a first professional contract in January 2013. A senior debut was taken in against MK Dons during a League Cup clash in August 2014 and he is up to 75 appearances for the Red Devils in total.
Pereira is a Brazil international despite being born in Belgium and has spent the last two seasons out on loan in South America at Flamengo. It remains to be seen if he has any future under new boss Erik ten Hag.
United fended off competition for Fred’s signature from arch-rivals Manchester City to put a £52.5 million ($64m) deal in place with Shakhtar Donetsk during the summer transfer window of 2018. He was always going to find it difficult to live up to that price tag and initially struggled to make the desired impact in England.
Fred has, however, grown into the central midfield role down the years, taking in over 150 appearances, but questions continue to be asked as to whether upgrades in the Red Devils’ engine room are required.
Telles was lured to Old Trafford in October 2020 after registering 13 goals and 11 assists during the previous campaign at Porto. His ability to contribute at both ends of the field from left-back made him of obvious appeal to United.
He has faced competition for minutes from Luke Shaw throughout his time in England, but has reached 50 appearances for the club while opening his goal account in a Champions League clash with Villarreal in September 2021.
Could Antony be the next Brazilian to turn out for United?
As reported by GOAL, the Red Devils have been handed a boost in their pursuit of of the Ajax star, with the Brazil winger determined to be reunited with Erik ten Hag.
Should he arrive in the summer transfer window he would be the ninth Brazilian to feature for the club, with Ten Hag aiming to bring back the glory days after several seasons without a trophy at Old Trafford.