Manchester United remain locked in talks with Ajax to see if they can reach an Antony transfer deal – and reports claim they have now set a new record for the Red Devils if they want to land the Brazilian before the window closes.
Antony remained United’s No.1 target for most of the summer. Their interest in him dates back months and has grown since Erik ten Hag was confirmed as United manager. However, moving him away from Ajax proved to be a tough nut to crack.
Indeed, United’s initial offer at the start of the summer was quickly rejected by Ajax. That left the Red Devils pursuing other goals, with four new names arriving at the club since. Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen and Casemiro have all signed up as Ten Hag look to advance his team.
With just days left in the transfer window, United are stepping up their quest to land Antony. To this end, United saw a second offer, worth £76.3m (€90m) instantly rejected by Ajax Friday.
That said, the Red Devils aren’t discouraged and are staying on the Brazilian’s trail. They still hope that an agreement can be reached with Antony is already accepting personal terms and looking for a house in the area.
As such, the player remains determined to move to Old Trafford. He made his wish to leave for Ajax clear, reiterating the claims in a public statement on Friday night.
“Since February this year, my agents have come to Amsterdam to inform Ajax of my desire to leave the club to take on new challenges and that some interested clubs will arrive and with them certainly a great offer,” Antony said.
Talks continue over Antony’s transfer
“In June this year, I interrupted my vacation and came personally to inform the Ajax directors, including the new coach, of my wish to leave and that they should consider this possibility, because it was a project over two seasons.
“During the window months, the meetings continued and I also received a proposal from Ajax for the renewal of the contract. I was clear once again: I want to leave.
Reports claim that Ajax are standing firm on their refusal to sell as the club have run out of time to sign a replacement. To that end, they are reportedly looking to sign Hakim Ziyech from Chelsea, although this agreement also encountered two big problems.
Antony continued: “Today, in a meeting with the club, I expressed my former interest in leaving, but this time with a considerable offer on the table. Others had already arrived. Ajax have refused, arguing that they only had five days to replace me.
“I’m not asking Ajax to release me, I’m asking Ajax to sell me with the highest ever offer for an Eredivisie player. I’ve been pushing this theme since February so that the club can rebuild the team calmly.
“People have to listen to me and understand that my motivation drives me towards happiness. I need it to keep performing at a high level. Ajax will always be in my heart.
He concluded: “I hope Ajax fans understand me…because the future of a football player is a totally uncertain thing and the opportunities can be unique. My message is a message of gratitude for Ajax, the club and the fans.
Now, according to sky sports, talks about a potential deal continue. Citing a source, they claim Ajax are setting United a new asking price of £84.3m (€100m) for Antony’s transfer.
United have two other deals on the agenda
As things stand, that seems more than United are willing to pay. However, discussions between the clubs continue.
sky sports also raises the possibility of United looking to walk away from the deal if they don’t achieve a breakthrough. They are, however, keen to point out that this point has not arrived.
They also claim the Red Devils continue to explore other options and could still make two more signings before the window closes.
One of them is for Pierre-Emerick Aubayemang, who Sky confirms is of interest to Ten Hag.
United are still unsure whether Cristiano Ronaldo will stay or leave before the window closes. If he leaves, they will have to replace his goals at the side, to which Aubameyang seems an obvious answer.
Barcelona are preparing to sell the striker for a fee of around £25m. Chelsea are on their trail, however a snag on his personal terms opened the door for United to pounce.
United also remain in the hunt for Cody Gakpo. The PSV Eindhoven winger will cost around £35m and could leave if his asking price is met.
The Dutch winger would have been on United’s list as an alternative to Antony if they failed to land the Brazilian. However, Sky Sports say signing both Antony and Gakpo is ‘unlikely but not impossible’.
Antony transfer: Ajax set new Man Utd record fee as talks continue and Erik ten Hag targets treble deal before window closes