Antony: Manchester United agree £80m deal for Ajax winger

Antony: Manchester United agree £80m deal for Ajax winger


Antony playing for Brazil
Antony made his Brazil debut in October 2021 and has played nine times for them

Manchester United have agreed a deal with Ajax for Brazil winger Antony.

It is understood United will pay an initial fee of £80.75m, with a further £4.25m in add-ons.

The 22-year-old is due to arrive in Manchester to complete a medical within the next 48 hours.

Antony would become Manchester United’s joint-second most expensive signing alongside defender Harry Maguire – the £89m paid for Paul Pogba remains the club’s record.

Antony scored 25 goals and provided 22 assists in 82 appearances for Ajax, having joined the Dutch side from Sao Paulo in 2020 and played under current United boss Erik ten Hag.

He made his international debut for Brazil in October 2021 and now has two goals in nine appearances.

Antony, who contributed to seven goals in his 11 Champions League appearances for Ajax, would also become the joint-fourth most expensive signing in Premier League history.

Only Pogba’s move to United, Chelsea’s signing of Romelu Lukaku and Manchester City’s deal for Jack Grealish would be more costly.

United travel to Leicester City in their next Premier League fixture on Thursday, 1 September, but Antony would need to receive a work permit before making an appearance.

The attacker would become United’s fifth signing of the summer, following the arrivals of his former Ajax team-mate, defender Lisandro Martinez, midfielder Casemiro from Real Madrid, full-back Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord and playmaker Christian Eriksen on a free transfer.

Speculation also remains as to whether Cristiano Ronaldo will stay at the club following concerns about how the 37-year-old’s mood is affecting morale in the camp.

Analysis – ‘statement signing Ten Hag wanted’

Simon Stone, BBC Sport reporter:

This is the statement signing Erik ten Hag has been wanting to make all summer – and the fee underlines how keen United were to satisfy their new manager before Thursday’s deadline closes.

Predominately left-footed, Antony likes to cut in off the right flank. He has exceptional pace, an ability to create chances from nothing and a willingness to work hard.

In a sense, he is very much like the players who already occupy the wide positions at United.

But it is clear Ten Hag wants greater depth and higher quality. He has already worked out that – as a collective – the players he inherited were not good enough.

The big question is whether Antony’s arrival will trigger a change of system – or put someone’s place under threat, or both.

And, as ever, debate will be around Ronaldo and how he fits in a team which has even more pace than before.

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