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Antony grateful to Ajax but not ruling out Man United switch

Manchester United have been strongly linked with Antony, who has admitted he cannot guarantee he will remain an Ajax player.

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - AUGUST 14: Antony of Ajax celebrates 2-1 with Daley Blnd of Ajax  during the Dutch Eredivisie  match between Ajax v FC Groningen at the Johan Cruijff Arena on August 14, 2022 in Amsterdam Netherlands (Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates ImagesGetty

Antony has thanked Ajax for making him a more complete footballer but suggested his future may lie away from the Eredivisie giants amid links with Manchester United. The Brazil international is said to be the next name on United’s list of targets after the Red Devils confirmed on Friday a deal is in place to sign Casemiro from Real Madrid.

The 22-year-old has impressed in his previous two full seasons with Ajax, but he is reported to have sat out training this week in order to push through a move to Old Trafford. Speaking in an interview with Dutch outlet De Telegraaf published on Saturday, Antony did little to play down talk a transfer ahead of the 1 September deadline.

No guarantees

Asked if he can guarantee he will remain an Ajax player, the São Paulo academy product said: “No, to be perfectly honest, I can’t. What I can say is that I want to come to the right decision with my family, business partners and Ajax, which is good for everyone. In the end, God determines my future. I am very happy at Ajax, I have a contract until the summer of 2025 and I will give everything for this beautiful club for every second. I wear the shirt with pride and from day one I feel at home. If we all decide I will stay here, then I know that this is the best thing for me and the club. It’s not like I have to leave. Now I am focusing on playing football and have put all other matters in the hands of my agents and my brother. They will advise me on what is best. Thanks to Ajax I have become a more complete footballer, more effective especially and more of a team player. Every day I want to become a better footballer.”

Antony is reported to be valued in excess of €80million by Ajax, whom he scored 12 goals for and assisted a further 10 from 33 appearances last season. He has started the 2022-23 campaign in good form with two goals in his first three outings under new head coach Alfred Schreuder.

Antony. (Photo by Raymond Smit/NESImages/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
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Antony. (Photo by Raymond Smit/NESImages/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)DeFodi ImagesGetty

Encouragement for Ten Hag

The winger spent his first two seasons with Ajax playing under Erik ten Hag, who has endured a terrible start to his United tenure since swapping clubs earlier this year. The Dutchman is the first manager to lose his first two games in charge of United in 101 years, having gone down 1-2 to Brighton and Hove Albion and 4-0 to Brentford so far.

But Antony, who is in line to be part of Brazil’s World Cup squad later this year, has backed his former head coach to turn things around at Old Trafford. “Erik has been super important to me. I am grateful to him and wish him all the best,” he said. “I will always cheer for Erik after working so closely together. 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.”


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