Ajax want club record fee as Manchester United eye Antony

Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Erik_ten_Hag_2017_(cropped2).jpg

Manchester United will have to pay Ajax a club-record fee to sign Antony this summer, leaving the player frustrated, according to 90min.

Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag wants to reunite with the Brazilian forward, 22, at Old Trafford as he prepares for his debut campaign in the Premier League.

Antony is also interested in leaving the Eredivisie giants before the transfer window shuts, and while Man Utd have made him their top attacking target and held talks, Ajax’s stance has left them shocked.

The Daily Mail reports that the Dutch side want £84million for the Brazilian, a £16million increment from their original asking price of £68million.

Nevertheless, the Old Trafford outfit remain interested, but they are not keen on splashing that amount of cash on him, and that is making a deal stall.

Ten Hag recently reunited with erstwhile Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez, while left-back Tyrell Malacia joined from Feyenoord earlier in the summer.

Christian Eriksen was snapped up on a free after his short-term deal at Brentford ended, but the squad need more than three additions if they are to challenge for silverware and a top-four finish next season.


Deal off?

With Cristiano Ronaldo seemingly pushing for an exit due to the side’s failure to secure Champions League football last term, Man Utd need to further bolster their attack.

The Portuguese’s goals need to be replaced if he leaves, and it is clear to see why ten Hag wants Antony after he bagged 23 goals in 79 games in all competitions for the Amsterdam club.

The Ajax star plays majorly as a right-sided winger, but with Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Anthony Elanga and Anthony Martial – who appears rejuvenated – also available attacking options, the Red Devils will not be short of quality goalscorers should he join.

However, Ajax clearly do not want to lose such a top player, and Man Utd may need to start looking elsewhere in their bid to strengthen in the final third.

Losing Ronaldo will deal a massive blow on the club’s lofty ambitions for the campaign, but ten Hag will be hoping to use that as extra motivation and prove his worth in his first season at the club.

Failure to qualify for Europe’s elite league may not only end up costing them the services of the Portuguese, it could also see them miss out on key targets as the majority of the best players in the market wants to compete in the Champions League.

The onus is on ten Hag to guide Man Utd back to the top, but his work is clearly cut out for him given the players at his disposal.

Manchester City and Liverpool boast better players and squad depths, and the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur currently look better on paper after finishing in the top-four last term.

Adding only Antony to the current squad will not be enough to make the title challengers, but it will likely help boost their chances of competing strongly for the Champions League places, and they need to pull out all the stops to get a deal over the line.

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