MANCHESTER UNITED is attempting to sign Antony before the transfer deadline on Thursday.
Manchester United’s hopes of luring Antony to Old Trafford in the next days appear to have received a significant boost, with Ajax apparently identifying a successor for the 22-year-old if he joins the Red Devils this summer. United has been pursuing a transfer for Antony in recent months, and the Brazilian winger is understood to be interested in the prospective transition, although a deal has yet to be finalized at the club level.
After losing Lisandro Martinez, Sebastien Haller, and Ryan Gravenberch earlier in the window, Ajax recently turned down United’s latest bid of about £75million for Antony. According to De Telegraaf, they have already begun planning for life without Antony by naming Aston Villa forward Anwar El Ghazi as his prospective successor at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
El Ghazi is said to be a target for Ajax if United decides to make a new and better offer for Antony that meets his current club’s asking price of roughly £85 million. The Red Devils are set to make another bid before Thursday’s transfer deadline, implying that Ajax may elect to make a late move for El Ghazi in the coming days.
The latter has yet to start a Premier League game for Aston Villa this season, with Steven Gerrard reportedly not fond of the 27-year-old after loaning him out to Everton in the second half of last season. El Ghazi began his senior career at Ajax before departing to join Lille in 2017, but it appears that a return to Amsterdam is on the cards if United goes all-in for Antony in the near future.
Antony flourished under Erik ten Hag’s tutelage at Ajax last season and has since been identified as a key target by the United manager, who has had a tumultuous start to life at Old Trafford. There is still time for the 13-time Premier League champions to make a move for Antony, but it is probable that they will be forced to overpay to obtain his services before the summer window closes.
The youngster himself said earlier this week that he is desperate to leave Ajax for Manchester United in order to pursue his aspirations and advance his career by playing at the greatest level possible.
“Since February of this year, my agents have been in Amsterdam informing Ajax of my wish to leave the club to pursue new opportunities, and that some interested clubs would approach with a nice offer,” Antony informed Fabrizio Romano.
“Meetings continued during the window months, and I also received a contract renewal proposal from Ajax,” I stated unequivocally that I intend to leave.
“I was really pleased in Amsterdam; I won trophies at Ajax, developed friends, and created a portion of my career there, but now I am ready and full of drive to pursue my tale and my aspirations.” People must listen to me and see that my motivation propels me toward pleasure. This is necessary for me to continue performing at a high level. Ajax will always have a special place in my heart.”