By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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Manchester United are keeping tabs on Michael Antonio ahead of a possible summer bid, Football Insider sources understand.
The Premier League giants have been hugely impressed by the West Ham star’s performances in recent months.
The wide player, 25, scored for the third consecutive Premier League game on Saturday as the Hammers came from 2-0 down to secure a remarkable 3-2 win at Everton.
Antonio has now scored five goals in his last eight matches, and 11 in total this season, four of which came when he was still at Nottingham Forest last August.
A United source has told Football Insider that the club are in the market for a player with power and pace who can play on the right flank.
The versatile Antonio has been used in a variety of roles for West Ham since establishing himself in the team in December, including right wing, right-back and right wing-back.
United’s interest comes as they prepare to listen to offers for the long-serving Antonio Valencia, who is on the comeback trail after five months out with a foot injury.
The Ecuador international, who turns 31 in August, is out of contract in the summer of 2017.
West Ham’s Antonio, who revealed on Sunday that he rejected a move to Tottenham in his teens, moved to Upton Park from Forest in a £7million deal at the end of last summer’s transfer window.
The London club might be confident they can hold off interest in one of their key players, given the combination of their high-flying status just one point adrift of fourth in the Premier League table and the mammoth new TV deal that comes into effect next season.