Brazilian club Sao Paulo reportedly want to receive the money Manchester United owe them for Antony as soon as possible to clear some debts.
The Red Devils signed Antony from Ajax for £85million on deadline day. As part of an arrangement between Ajax and ex-side Sao Paulo, a significant chunk of the transfer fee is owed to the Brazilian club., who are expected to earn £18m from the deal.
United spent more than £200m on new players in the summer – bringing in Antony, Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro and Martin Dubravka – and it’s believed they’ve agreed to pay for Antony over the next five years to spread the cost.
But according to journalist Jorge Nicola via Sport Witness, Sao Paulo want their money as soon as possible. It’s believed the South American side have monetary issues, such as needing to pay their players outstanding image rights fees.
That cash is expected to arrive sometime at the end of September or the beginning of October, but Sao Paulo president Julio Casares reportedly wants all their players to be paid before the Copa Sudamericana final against Independiente del Valle on October 1.
The Copa Sudamericana is South American’s secondary continental competition and can be compared to the Europa League. Sao Paulo haven’t won a South American honour since they last lifted the Copa Sudamericana in 2012.
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Antony joined Sao Paulo aged 10 and progressed into the first team as a teenager, making 52 appearances for the club before joining Ajax in July 2020. He then scored 25 goals and won three trophies – including two Eredivisie titles – to earn a move to Old Trafford.
“I went through a lot, a lot of difficult moments in my life,” Antony told United’s website earlier this month. “I know that this will be another challenge. I went through a lot in the past. No football boots, nothing to eat, bailing water out of my house at three or four o’clock in the morning as it had flooded.
“They were very difficult times but I went through them all with a smile. I’m certain it was all worth it as I’m reaping the rewards now for what was planted in the past.
“Those moments have contributed to everything I’m now experiencing. I have another challenge now and a lot of stories to tell you, I’ll tell you more another day. I feel honoured to be here after everything I went through in the past. Today I can see it was all worth it.”
Antony added: “I played in my community, I lived in a favela, I lived there until I started playing professionally at Sao Paulo. People wouldn’t believe that after seeing me on TV, I’d be going back home to the favela at full-time. I didn’t have the means to leave.
“My memories are playing barefoot as I didn’t have any boots, playing on the yard with my friends, from afternoon until evening playing football there. They are happy memories, I’m not embarrassed to share them.”