Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is reportedly hoping to hand incoming new signing Antony his debut against Arsenal next weekend.
The Old Trafford outfit are closing in on the Brazilian winger after finally agreeing a fee of €95 million (£80.6million) with a further €5 million in potential add-ons following a protracted transfer saga. Ten Hag has targeted the 22-year-old to fill the void on United’s right wing and hopes to make him the second player to follow him to the Premier League from former side Ajax this summer after the £55m capture of Argentinian defender Lisandro Martinez.
The transfer window closes on Thursday evening, when United will look to win a third successive Premier League match in the trip to Leicester. But TNT Sports journalist Arthur Quezada [via Sport Witness ] reports that Antony won’t be involved for his new club at the King Power Stadium, with Ten Hag instead waiting until the Red Devils face Arsenal on Sunday to unleash his new signing.
United are understood to have had a lower bid rejected last week but have now made progress in a deal for a player who had made his frustrations at the earlier impasse clear in an interview on Friday. “Since February of this year, my agents came to Amsterdam to inform Ajax of my desire to leave the club to face a new challenge and that some interested clubs would arrive and, with them, certainly a great offer,” Antony said via Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano on YouTube.
“During the window months, meetings concluded including a proposal from Ajax for a contract renewal. I made it clear once again I want 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 it only has five days to replace (me).
“I’m not asking (for Ajax) to release me, I am asking Ajax to sell me for the highest bid received for a player who plays in the Eredivisie.” Antony added: “I was very happy in Amsterdam, I won titles at Ajax, made friends and built part of my career, but now I reinforce that I am ready and full of motivation to follow my story and my dreams.
“People need to listen to me and understand that my motivation moves me towards happiness. I need this to continue performing at a high level. Ajax will always be in my heart.”