Manchester United are looking to add to their frontline before next week’s transfer deadline and Antony, the Ajax winger, has been identified as Erik ten Hag’s number one priority in that department.
The 22-year-old worked with Ten Hag for two years in Amsterdam and the Dutchman is now looking to bring him to Old Trafford, with the club already making one bid for the Brazil international.
Earlier on Sunday, it was revealed that after having an initial offer of €80m turned down by Ajax, United are considering a fresh bid for Antony. Ajax are believed to be asking for a whopping €100m.
Now, Ajax manager Alfred Schreuder has admitted that he is assuming that the club will not sell Antony this summer despite United’s intense interest. Furthermore, Ten Hag’s former assistant has sent a cheeky jibe his former partner’s way, making sure to remind him that Antony would be giving up Champions League football.
“We have already lost 5 or 6 big players, and I don’t want Antony to leave the club. I told the board that I want him to stay here,” Schreuder told ESPN, via Fabrizio Romano. “I am assuming that the club will not sell Antony as we’re in good financial position
“Yes, my feeling is positive on Antony deal. I understand Antony, but… here you play for Ajax,” he continued. “We are playing Champions League football. I don’t think Manchester United are playing Champions League football.”
Antony was left out of the Ajax side to face Sparta Rotterdam on Sunday, fuelling rumours that an exit may be in the works. Antony’s absence from the squad follows two days of skipping training.
Ten Hag seems determined to seal a reunion with Antony at Old Trafford and the club is carrying out that demand but have been met by a resilient Ajax, who are refusing to budge on their stance.
Ajax have been successful in signing young players and preparing them for the next step in their career, a step up in Antony’s case, but are seemingly withdrawing that stance this time.
Antony will most likely have been pitched this idea when he agreed to join them two years ago and his strike from training is completely understandable.
United’s €80m offer may have been over the top but can you blame Antony for reacting the way he has when Ajax rejected it?