Despite numerous behind-the-scene changes which got fans excited, Manchester United’s transfer dealings so far have been slow and laborious. Although new manager Erik ten Hag informed the board of the players he wants at his disposal, the club have been dawdling over the transfer of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, with the saga ongoing for over a month now.
On the back of a disastrous Premier League campaign, it was imperative that the club strengthened in multiple positions including in attack. Ajax winger Antony was earmarked as the primary target with club officials holding talks with the player’s representatives a few weeks ago.
But with United yet to get the De Jong deal over the line, fellow Premier League side Chelsea have swooped in and are trying to hijack the deal for the Brazil international.
Chelsea have joined Manchester United in the race to sign Ajax star Antony. 🍿🙇♂️
— 90min (@90min_Football) June 23, 2022
According to 90min, Chelsea are among those to have recently held talks with the winger’s entourage.
The Blues, under new ownership, have handed Thomas Tuchel a sizeable budget to spend on players. The London club is looking to add attacking reinforcements with Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele and Man City star Raheem Sterling also among their targets.
Antony wants new challenge
Ten Hag is a huge admirer of the former Sao Paulo attacker, having signed him in February 2020 from Brazil for £13 million. And the Brazilian has shone during his time in the Eredivisie, winning back-to-back league titles as well as the Dutch Cup.
Last season, he was one of the standout performers, netting 12 times and assisting a further 10 goals in 32 matches. He was so instrumental that Ten Hag had said that Ajax do not have a replacement for the skilled winger.
Ajax have slapped a hefty price tag on the 22-year-old to ward off potential suitors. They are aware of the increased interest in their star asset and are said to be asking for as much as around £68million.
Multiple reports have stated that the player himself has asked the club to allow him to leave as he wants a new challenge. At the time of Ten Hag’s departure to Manchester, Antony had said he is ready to help his manager if he gets the call in the future, hinting at a future collaboration.
Further fuel was added to the fire during the start of Ajax’s pre-season training camp as Antony was absent despite not being involved with the national team.
It is still unclear whether the Brazilian will try and push for a move to the Premier League.
Fans at United are desperate to see Antony considering the lack of firepower up front. But if United continue to focus only on one single deal at a time, the Blues might just jump in and steal him from right under United’s nose. That will not please supporters one bit, as they are already desperate for signings.