Ajax have rejected Manchester United’s latest offer of £76.3m (€90m) for Brazilian winger Antony.
United have been chasing the 22-year-old for several weeks and saw a £67.9m (€80m) bid rejected by the club earlier this week.
Antony was omitted from the Ajax squad in last Sunday’s 1-0 win over Sparta Rotterdam in the latest indication the player is keen on a move to Old Trafford but the Eredivisie champions have resisted the move. improved offer from United.
“Since February this year, my agents have been coming to Amsterdam to inform Ajax of my desire to leave the club for a new challenge and that some interested clubs would arrive and with them certainly a great offer,” Antony said. via an Italian journalist. Fabrice Romano on YouTube.
“During the window months, the meetings were concluded, including a proposal from Ajax for the renewal of the contract. I made it clear once again that I wanted to leave the club.
“Today, in a meeting with the board, I expressed my interest in leaving the club, this time with a considerable offer on the table. Others have already arrived (but) Ajax always refuses with the argument that he only has five days to replace me (me).
“I’m not asking (Ajax) to release me, I’m asking Ajax to sell me as the highest offer received by a player who plays in the Eredivisie.
A move to United would see Antony reuniting with former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, who has already signed defender Lisandro Martinez from his former club.
“I was very happy in Amsterdam, I won titles at Ajax, I made friends and I built part of my career, but now I confirm that I am ready and full of motivation to follow my story and my dreams,” he added.
“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.”
Despite the rejection of the latest offer, talks are ongoing between the two clubs, ahead of the September 1 transfer deadline.
‘You can understand Ajax’s stance on the sale’
Sky Sports News’ Dharmesh Sheth on The Transfer Show:
“Erik Ten Hag said United need the best players, Man Utd continue to pursue Antony and they continue to be thwarted by Ajax.
“An offer of €80m was rejected last week, we were just told that they came back with an offer of €90m including the add-ons, and again, the Ajax want more money.
“You can understand Ajax’s position. Six days from the transfer window, they can probably sense a bit of desperation from the Man Utd side. Why wouldn’t they try to raise it as far as possible, simply because they might be at a disadvantage too?
“Yes, they will have all that money in the bank if they sell Antony to United, but how long would they have to bring in a replacement?
“Antony has however made it clear that he wants to leave Ajax and join United. Talks are ongoing between the clubs, there is a friendly relationship between them but we believe Ajax may want to push up to 100m euros before selling it.”
Schreuder confident about Antony’s future
Speaking earlier this week, Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder said he was confident Antony would stay at the club – and appeared to be critical of United not playing in the Champions League.
“I have a good feeling. Of course it’s difficult. I understand the boy,” Schreuder said after Ajax’s win on Sunday. “But he plays for Ajax, so these clubs come knocking. We play in the Champions League and I don’t think Manchester United are.”
When asked if Ajax could afford to turn down offers of €90m or €100m, he replied: “I don’t know, it’s up to the club to decide, but I think we are very strong financially.
“As I said before, the money at stake today is ridiculous, of course. But if you look at our squad, since I arrived we’ve already sold five or six key players. I disagree if we had to sell another player.”
Why Antony is Ten Hag’s man
“Of course we hope he will be Ajax’s next star.” It was July 2020 and Erik ten Hag, the Ajax manager at the time, introduced Antony, the club’s new signing of £20million from Sao Paulo.
“At Ajax we always try to reach the top,” added Ten Hag. “So I expect him to do his best to reach that level of expectation. The rest we will see in the future.”
Ten Hag was right to expect big things from Antony – the Brazilian, just 19 when he agreed to a move to Amsterdam, quickly established himself as one of Ajax’s key players – but even he could not have predicted that he could one day take him to Manchester United. too.
Read Nick Wright’s full article on Antony here.
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