Antony heading for Manchester United in £85m deal


Manchester United are reportedly on the verge of securing the signature of Brazilian attacker Antony, having come to an agreement with Ajax over a €100m (£85m) deal.

The 22-year-old is believed to have gone on strike at Ajax in a bid to force a move to Old Trafford, with the attacker making it clear that he wants to leave the Eredivisie champions this summer.

“Since February of this year, my agents came to Amsterdam to inform Ajax of my desire to leave the club to face new challenge and that some interested clubs would arrive and with them, certainly a great offer,” Antony told Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano in an exclusive interview on Friday.

“In June of this year, I interrupted my vacation and came personally to inform the managers of Ajax, including new coach, about my wish to leave and that they should consider this possibility, because it was a project for two seasons.

“During the window months, meetings continued and I also received a proposal from Ajax for contract renewal. I made it clear once again: I want to leave.

“Today, in a meeting with the club, I expressed my old interest in leaving, only this time with a considerable offer on the table. Others had already arrived! Ajax refused with argument that they only have five days to replace me.”

Man United are believed to have seen their latest offer in the region of £76m turned down by Ajax, but an agreement between the two clubs has allegedly now been reached.

According to Romano, Man United will pay €100m (£85m) for the South American, who is expected to sign a five-year contract with the option of a further 12 months.

The journalist claims that Antony will be in Manchester next week to finalise the agreement, with his debut for the club potentially coming against Leicester City on Thursday or Arsenal next weekend.

Antony has started the 2022-23 campaign in strong form, scoring twice and providing two assists in three appearances, including one goal and two assists in two league fixtures.

Meanwhile, the attacker will leave Ajax with a record of 24 goals and 22 assists in 82 appearances following his move from Sao Paulo in July 2020.

Ajax’s board of directors reportedly met on Sunday, and it was decided that the club could not afford to reject what will be an Eredivisie record transfer fee.

Antony will become Man United’s fifth signing of the summer transfer window after Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro.

The 20-time English champions are still believed to be keen to further boost their squad, though, with a new goalkeeper likely to arrive before the deadline.

Meanwhile, Barcelona attacker Memphis Depay continues to be linked with the Red Devils, with a deal for the Netherlands international potentially occurring if Cristiano Ronaldo leaves the club.