Ajax have changed their asking price for Antony at a time where Manchester United are pushing to land the Brazil international, according to reports. The Samba star scored eight goals and clocked up four assists in the Eredivisie last term. And Erik ten Hag is keen to reunite with the 22-year-old, having previously managed him over in Amsterdam.
Manchester United have upped the ante when it comes to signing new players in recent days, ever since their 4-0 defeat to Brentford last weekend.
They’ve moved to land Casemiro from Real Madrid and are now eyeing another Brazilian in Antony, who developed well under Ten Hag during the Dutchman’s spell as Ajax manager.
It emerged earlier in the week that United had seen a huge offer worth £67.2million turned down, a fee that would make him the club’s fifth most-expensive signing of all time.
And Goal Brazil say Ajax have actually changed their asking price.
Initially, the Dutch giants were happy to accept a fee for around that amount. But with United’s need for reinforcements clear for all to see, they’ve now shrewdly reacted.
It’s said Ajax now want an offer in the region of £84m to contemplate selling their prized asset.
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They’ve already lost several key players this summer, with Lisandro Martinez, Sebastien Haller, Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui all seeking new challenges.
And United are expected to improve their bid as they look to finally end this saga and secure Antony’s signature.
The Brazil international has made it clear to Ajax that he wants to go to Manchester and be reunited with Ten Hag.
He’s said to view the chance to move to Old Trafford as a ‘career leap’ and, speaking recently, hailed Ten Hag and his methods.
“Erik has been super important to me,” Antony said.
“I am grateful to him and wish him all the best. I will always cheer for Erik after working so closely together.
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“I have not been able to celebrate or cheer for him as he got no points yet.
“I couldn’t until now anyway and that makes me sad. But knowing Erik, I am convinced that he will turn the tide soon.
“Manchester United will improve at his hand. At his previous clubs he has proven that his method works.”
The report adds that Sao Paulo, the club where Antony started his career at, will get a big fee from any potential transfer.
They’ll supposedly pocket 20 per cent for anything that ‘exceeds 15 million euros in United’s proposal.’
That means that, if they do pay the full £84m to land Antony, then his former side can expect to earn £14.5m due to a clause in the player’s contract.
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Regarding United and their transfer business, meanwhile, former Liverpool star Robbie Fowler has criticised the players the Red Devils have recruited so far.
And he also thinks Ten Hag’s reinforcements actually make the Red Devils worse.
“I don’t doubt the signings of Casemiro and Antony suddenly dominating the news cycle is a reaction to the planned protests at Old Trafford, and yeah, I understand that,” he told The Mirror.
“But such a knee-jerk response highlights everything wrong with them at the moment.
“I look at their game with Liverpool, and I think the contrast is so stark, even if the clubs have had relatively similar starts to the season. Honestly, that is where the comparison starts and ends.
“Liverpool make decisions based on the long-term needs of the club, and on what suits the manager and his coaching style the best.
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“United seem to make decisions on the level of their desperation. So at the start of the window, it was all about ‘being sensible’, ‘building for the future’, ‘focusing on youth’ and ‘departing from the policies of the last few years’.
“Now after pressure from the fans, they’ve suddenly changed tack completely.
“Casemiro at 30, and with questions about his knee? C’mon. That’s hardly building for the future, and the fee is nonsense.
“I know people will say my Liverpool connections are behind these comments, but I think anyone in football can see Erik ten Hag has inherited a team and a squad that is a long distance away from what United were in the past.
“They’ve always had elite players who were leaders. Keane, Scholes, Ferdinand, Stam, Van Nistelrooy, Cantona, played against them all and they were elite, pure and simple. Not this lot.”
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