A deal for Ajax winger Antony could be done today by Manchester United, if an exclusive report is to be believed.
The Brazilian has been widely reported to be on new manager Erik ten Hag’s shopping list this summer, having been one of his star players in Amsterdam.
But with United’s focus seemingly more on getting a deal for another former Ajax star, Frenkie de Jong over the line, it seemed that any move for the 22-year-old had been put on the back burner.
However, late last night, The Sun’s Neil Custis claimed in an ‘exclusive’ report that United officials are on their way to Amsterdam to try to close a deal for the player.
“Manchester United are closing in on their first major signing of the summer with Antony on his way from Ajax in a £40million move,” Custis claims.
“SunSport understands that United officials are due in Amsterdam today to get a deal for the Brazilian over the line.”
It is exciting stuff to read as a United fan but at The Peoples Person, we have found in the past that Custis, the journalist once famously referred to as “Fat Man” by Louis van Gaal in a United press conference, is not always 100% reliable.
Of course, all the rest of the papers are now reporting the story “as per The Sun”, because it makes good copy and it might, of course, be true. A broken clock, after all, is right twice a day.
But it does seem a little too good to be true, given transfer guru Fabriziano Romano’s recent comments on the Antony situation.
Romano was reported by Givemesport four days ago as saying:
“Ajax would love to keep the player for one more season. They want an important fee for Antony.
“When I see about a potential proposal for €45m or €50m, I’m told Ajax actually want way more than this for the Brazilian, so it’s not going to be an easy one.”
However, there’s usually no smoke without fire, even when the smoke is coming from Mr Custis, so perhaps the story is there as a decoy for another one.
Given that United have also been linked with two other Ajax stars recently, centre backs Jurrien Timber and Lisandro Martinez, it is possible that United officials are going to Amsterdam, but with their focus on other players. Or for a general discussion about all three.
In other words, Custis could have been leaked the Antony story to throw competitors for the other stars’ signatures off the scent.
Whatever the case, following Romano’s comments and with nothing of note coming out of the Dutch media about Antony, it would seem premature to celebrate United’s new Brazilian signing just yet. But it would be nice if The Sun was to prove us wrong.