Ajax star Antony is determined to seal a dream switch to Manchester United this summer – even though the Dutch giants have slapped a £69million price tag on his head in a bid to try and repel interest from their former boss, Erik ten Hag.
The Dutchman is in the midst of overhauling United’s beleaguered playing squad and has been linked with a host of players he’s worked with at Ajax over the years, including Antony, Frenkie de Jong, Jurrien Timber and Lisandro Martinez.
However, Ten Hag and United have been unable to find a breakthrough in their bid to snare their top targets. It is believed that the club saw Antony as an acquirable target this summer for around £40m; but that no longer appears to be the case.
The Dutch champions are in a strong financial position and do not need to cash in on any of their stars this summer after raking in around £50m from the sales of Ryan Gravenberch and Sebastian Haller, who is expected to rubber-stamp his move to Borussia Dortmund imminently.
As a result, Ajax will now not entertain any bids lower than £69m for Antony; a huge jump from the £40m that the 22-year-old Brazilian winger was expected to be available for. The club have also dealt their former boss another blow after informing United that Timber and Martinez would both cost around £51.5m each, making moves unlikely.
Despite Ajax’s hardline stance, Antony is still ‘hopeful’ of getting his big Premier League move this summer and is keen on working with Ten Hag again. It’s been claimed that Antony’s representatives have pleased with the Dutch giants to consider any offers that may be tabled for the attacker in the coming weeks.
The winger – who still has three years remaining on his current deal in Amsterdam – bagged eight goals and four assists in the Eredivisie last season to help Ajax to their third domestic crown in four years and would be a natural fit on the right-hand flank for United, who currently have a dearth of options in that area.
Given Ajax’s financial demands, United could become embroiled in yet another transfer saga if they continue to chase Antony. The club have seemingly made little headway in prising the De Jong away from Barcelona in recent weeks after the Dutchman was identified as Ten Hag’s top summer target.
The Spanish giants are open to a sale in the wake of their crippling financial issues, but are demanding more than the £60m that United are reportedly willing to pay.
United have also been linked with Brentford’s sought-after playmaker Christian Eriksen, who will become a free agent when his short-term deal in west London expires at the end of this month. Ten Hag had the chance to personally run the rule over Eriksen late last year when the 30-year-old trained with Ajax to keep up his fitness following his cardiac arrest at Euro 2020 and subsequent release from Inter Milan.