Antony is trying to force Man United’s move by refusing to play for Ajax
Manchester United target Antony has ruled out Ajax’s Eredivisie game against Sparta Rotterdam on Sunday as he looks to seal a move to Old Trafford.
The Red Devils are pressing hard to try and land the Brazilian before the transfer window closes after having a bid worth up to €80m (£68m) rejected on Thursday.
Antony is desperate to be reunited with Erik ten Hag in the Premier League and is taking matters into his own hands, missing training on both Friday and Saturday after Ajax rejected United’s offer.
De Telegraaf now report that the 22-year-old will not be part of the squad for Sunday’s match to face Sparta, with Steven Berghuis coming into the starting 11 in his place.
Although Antony refused to train with the squad, he turned up at the club’s training facility on both Friday and Saturday and did a short workout in the gym before heading home.
Despite the winger’s clear desire to join United, Ajax are ready to stand firm and are not worried about Antoni’s position or attitude.
As far as the Dutch club are concerned, the absolute worst case scenario is that Antony continues to boycott training and matches until the end of the window, after which he will be reintegrated into the squad.
Manager Alfred Schreuder has a good relationship with the striker and understands his position, while the Ajax hierarchy believe Antony will want to get back on the pitch quickly if a move to United does not materialize given it is a World Cup year.
Ajax still say they want at least €100m (£85m) for the Brazilian and there are expectations that United will offer closer to that amount as the transfer deadline approaches.
Antony was non-committal when asked about his future in an interview with De Telegraaf, saying: “What I can say is that I want to reach the right decision with my family, business partners and Ajax, which is good for everyone. After all, God determines my future.
Asked if he could guarantee he would stay at Ajax beyond the summer, he added: “No, to be perfectly honest, I can’t.
“Now I’m focusing on football and I’ve left all other matters in the hands of my agents and my brother. They will advise me what is best.
United are believed to be preparing an improved bid for Antony, although it is not expected to reach Ajax’s £85m asking price, while they are also looking to bring in a second new midfielder to accompany Casemiro, as well as a new striker.
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