Ajax winger Antony is edging closer to becoming Manchester United’s fifth signing of the summer after an agreement was finally struck between the two clubs over the weekend.
The 22-year-old was spotted at Carrington on Monday and it’s now believed that he will be announced by United imminently as Erik ten Hag continues to strengthen his squad.
Antony is, however, unlikely to be available for Thursday’s trip to Leicester as he must still obtain a work permit. It’s likelier that he will make his debut for the Reds against Arsenal on Sunday.
Alfred Schreuder, Erik ten Hag’s successor at the Amsterdam club, has now hit out at Antony’s antics in recent days after the Brazil international refused to train with the squad.
Schreuder claims he understands if Antony would be upset at being denied a move but that it must be handled professionally.
“I’ve talked about it with him. If you’re disappointed for a day or two, I understand, but at some point you’re a professional.
“Then I said: ‘I will continue with the guys who are there’. At a certain point you get angry about it, like… what are we doing? Looking at the total picture, that frustrates you as a trainer, but also how you stand in the world. Then I think, ‘you’re just a player, you just have to do your thing’. But my personal feeling is that it’s just bad.
“Today, the amounts are crazy. Barcelona paid €115m for Dembele, Manchester United also paid more than €100m for Sancho. Then you can pay that for him [Antony] too. Are the players worth it? No. But it will be paid.”
Understandably, Schreuder will be upset after losing his best player with just two days remaining of the transfer window. But it cannot be forgotten that a two-year plan was proposed to Antony when he joined from Sao Paulo in 2020.
He will feel like he’s entitled to a move now and perhaps his decision to go on strike was based on broken promises. We will never know for certain but regardless, from a United viewpoint, Erik ten Hag will be delighted to reunite with the tricky winger.
The Dutchman developed Antony into a feared winger in the Eredivisie and Champions League and hopefully, he will add much-needed balance to the side.