Manchester United have reached an initial agreement with Ajax for the transfer of 22-year-old forward Antony according to reports.
The fee for the Brazilian is believed to be around €100m including performance based add-ons. Ajax have been reluctant to negotiate with the Red Devils but Antony’s persistence to leave has forced the Dutch champions to sell their player.
After having three bids rejected with the latest offer of €90 million being rejected on Friday, United were determined to secure the services of the tricky winger and subsequently returned with a verbal offer of €100 million which looks likely to be accepted after the final details of the deal are ironed out.
There is increasing confidence from all parties that a deal will be done as per The Athletic’s David Ornstein. United have been pursuing top priority target Frenkie de Jong all summer but with the deal now being off, it turned United’s attention towards the forward line with a need for reinforcements.
A potential deal for Antony would scupper any other deals happening apart from the prospective signing of Martin Dubravka on loan from Newcastle United. Cody Gakpo was also a cheaper alternative to Antony with PSV demanding upwards of £30 million.
Antony has been left out of the Ajax squad for the last two matches after reportedly going on strike as he aimed to force through a move to Old Trafford. The Brazilian appears to have got his wish as Ajax and Manchester United look to close a deal within the next few days.
It is also said that Erik Ten Hag is keen to be reunited with the player after enjoying their time together at Ajax. When Ten Hag left Ajax for Old Trafford, the Dutch side released a farewell video in which Antony said: “Know that I will stand with you Erik, if you need me.”
On friday night, football journalist Fabrizo Romano revealed quotes directly from Antony in an exclusive interview where the Brazilian explained his situation.
“In February of this year, my agents came to Amsterdam to inform Ajax of my desire to leave the club to face a new challenge and that some interested clubs would arrive and with them, a great offer.
“I’m not asking Ajax to release me, I am asking Ajax to sell me with the highest bid ever for an Eredivisie player. I have been insisting on this theme since February so that the club would rebuild the team with peace of mind.”
The quotes were not a good look for either side as Ajax began to become frustrated with Antony and Manchester United – with potential to damage what has been a flourishing connection between the clubs.
Antony would need to register to the Premier League by Wednesday lunchtime to have any chance in featuring against Leicester City on Thursday evening.
If a deal for the winger goes through by deadline day, it would take United’s summer spending beyond £200 million which would shatter United’s previous record of £174 million spent in one summer – back in 2014.
A deal for the Brazil international would also smash the record sale for an Eredivisie player – previously set when De Jong moved to Barcelona back in 2019 for £75 million.