Player Man Utd wanted to offer ‘seven times his wages’ to replace Antony signs new deal | Football | Sport

Manchester United’s pursuit of Japanese winger Takefusa Kubo appears to have taken a major hit, with the 22-year-old having signed a new long-term deal at Real Sociedad. Kubo is thought to have emerged as a potential target for United, who are reportedly eager to improve on their existing forward options in the summer.

It was reported in December that United were willing to offer Kubo seven times his current wage to replace Antony, who has failed to impress since moving to Old Trafford two summers ago. However, it seems Kubo is more than happy to stay in Spain for the time being after extending his contract at Real Sociedad until the summer of 2029.

The news was confirmed on Monday, with Kubo insisting that his sights are firmly set on ‘growing hand-in-hand with this team’ in an interview with Real Sociedad’s official channels. Release clauses are mandatory in all contracts in Spain, as per La Liga rules, but the value of the clause inserted into Kubo’s new deal is not known as things stand.

His old release clause was reportedly worth around £52million and it is likely that Sociedad have increased this figure as part of his new contract. It suggests that a summer move to United is not entirely out of the question, but any successful deal would almost certainly be an expensive one.

Kubo, who has chipped in with six goals and four assists in all competitions so far this season, is thought to have been admired by United for quite some time. Scouts from Old Trafford have been dispatched to watch him on several occasions, according to The Sun, while Mundo Deportivo previously reported that United expressed an interest in his services last year.

The Japan international recently hailed Real Sociedad boss Imanol Alguacil for successfully getting the best out of him since joining the club in 2022, telling Marca: “He asks a lot of me. He always wants me to give more, to stand out more, to give my best in training and in games.

“He always reproaches me, which is a good thing, because when a coach doesn’t tell you anything it means he doesn’t expect more from you. Imanol wants all the footballers to fight to play on the weekend, to stand out in the games, something good for the coach and the team.”

It remains to be seen if United will succeed in bringing Kubo to Old Trafford if they decide to firm up their interest with an official bid in the summer. However, it seems clear that he will need some convincing to leave Real Sociedad, where he has emerged as one of the best young forwards currently playing in Spain under the guidance of Alguacil.

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