Home » Antony informs Ajax that he will not return early, could be interpreted as a strike

Antony informs Ajax that he will not return early, could be interpreted as a strike

Brazilian international wants Ajax to reconsider their valuation of him

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Manchester United, over the years, have stockpiled a lot of talented wingers who like to play on the left flank. But that has meant the right-hand side bears a lopsided look with no out-and-out right wingers in the club’s armory. Those issues have been exacerbated with Mason Greenwood‘s ongoing legal battle, and Jadon Sancho‘s switch to the opposite flank. New manager Erik ten Hag has made it clear that solving the right wing conundrum is of paramount importance, hence the interest in Ajax’s skillful winger Antony.

The Brazilian was a key part of Ten Hag’s Ajax side, winning two Eredivisie titles and a Dutch Cup along the way. Such was his influence that the Dutch manager had once said that there was no replacement for the Brazil international in Ajax’s squad.

And now, Ten Hag wants to reunite with the winger he originally signed from Sao Paulo back in 2020. United have already met the representatives of the player with Antony himself keen to reunite with his former coach.

However, the Dutch champions are not in the mood to sell any of their assets having already earned a substantial amount from the sale of Ryan Gravenberch to Bayern Munich.

They have slapped a massive £69 million price tag on him in a bid to ward off the English giants. Even Premier League outfit Chelsea are eyeing a move for the 22-year-old.

Strike the only solution?

According to ESPN, Antony has informed his parent club that he will not be able to rejoin pre-season training until August as he is still nursing an ankle injury which he suffered while on national duty against Bolivia.

New Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder confirmed the latest development to ESPN. He said, “Antony is recovering from his injury in Amsterdam. He is doing reasonably well, but the coming weeks are important.

“We hope that he will improve quickly before his injury. I assume that he will be fit again at the end of the preparation.”

Ajax fans have not taken too kindly to the news and view this development with a lot of suspicion. It is a common sight for modern players to go on strike till they seal a move away.

Former Ajax star Davinson Sanchez had done the same which effectively helped him get his move to Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.

Former coach and current Dutch analyst Aad de Mos had his say on the whole situation.

“That doesn’t come from Antony; it comes more from the agents usually,” De Mos was quoted as saying via Sport Witness.

“I don’t think it’s very wise for his reputation. Ajax are free to ask what they want because he still has a long-term contract.

“He has to be careful with it; it could be a disadvantage to himself because Ten Hag and United could say: we are no longer interested in a player who does that.”

De Telegraaf had already reported that Antony is not too pleased with Ajax’s steep valuation of him, something that will stop him from making his dream Premier League switch.

If Antony does join, he will be one of the only options on the right flank. Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Sancho and even young Anthony Elanga, all prefer playing down the left.

United fans hope to see Antony in the red of Manchester next season with Ten Hag desperate for attacking reinforcements once Frenkie de Jong’s transfer from Barcelona. But with Ajax’s asking price and United’s dithering transfer approach so far, the player himself can be forgiven for thinking he has to take matters into his own hands for the move to materialize.

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