Manchester United are confident of signing Ajax forward Antony in a deal worth up to £80million.
United had an initial bid of £67.9m rebuffed by Erik ten Hag’s former club, but will increase that offer to £75m, with a further £5m due in add-ons. Ajax want £85m for the Brazil international, but United believe their improved bid, rising to a potential £80m with the completion of contract-related clauses, will get the deal done.
Antony is desperate to push through a move to United before next Thursday’s transfer deadline and has submitted a formal transfer request to Ajax to try to accelerate the process.
The 22-year-old’s representatives are understood to be remaining in England until the window closes on September 1, to try to get the deal over the line. Personal terms will not be an issue between Antony and United, who will offer the versatile forward a five-year contract, with an option for an extra year.
Old Trafford sources are confident a deal for Antony will be done, particularly given the relationship between former United keeper Edwin van der Sar – now Ajax CEO – and his old club. United have conducted plenty of business with Ajax in recent seasons, including the signing of defender Lisandro Martinez this summer and midfielder Donny van de Beek back in 2020.
Antony is set to become the 10th Brazilian to sign for United, joining compatriot Casemiro, whose £70m move from Real Madrid was confirmed on Monday. And the veteran midfielder has hinted he is ready to raise the standards at Old Trafford and promised to be at full pelt not only in matches, but in training sessions with his new team-mates.
“I’m a player that loves to work hard,” Casemiro told United’s official website. “A player that gives everything on the pitch, but not just over 90 minutes, in training too, which for me is the most important thing.
“You train as you play and I think, regardless of the scoreline or what’s happening on the pitch, of course everyone wants to win matches, win in training, learn in training.
“But I’m one of those players who wants to go home and know that I’ve done my job, so that’s my philosophy, my mentality and now it’s all about giving everything for Manchester United.
“For me, you train like you play and I feel that’s key to winning games and titles. You have to train as hard as possible to play at your best, be strong and fully committed.”
As a sign of his commitment to United, Casemiro has vowed to learn English as quickly as possible so he can communicate with everyone at the club. “My wife speaks English, I have a seven-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son, so they speak a bit better English than me,” Casemiro said.
“I’m truly sorry to all of the United fans that I don’t speak English, but I want to study, I want to learn as soon as possible so that I can learn about English culture, to learn English and speak to my friends, my team-mates, all the club staff – I want to show them I’m o