Ajax coach Alfred Schreuder has said he is “not afraid” of losing Antony, who is a transfer target of Manchester United, this summer.
Dutch forward Antony is one of Manchester United’s top targets ahead of the 2022-23 season as new boss Erik ten Hag continues to boost the Red Devils’ squad.
Ajax do not need to cash in on the 22-year-old forward, having already received big money by selling Lisandro Martinez to Manchester United, as well as Sebastien Haller to Borussia Dortmund, Ryan Gravenberch to Bayern Munich and Nicolas Tagliafico to Lyon.
After Ajax’s latest 3-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in a pre-season game, boss Schreuder was quizzed about Antony’s future at the Amsterdam-based club. In response, the Netherlands coach said, “I am not afraid of anything. We know that we have very good players and we assume that the selection stays together. You never know for sure.”
It was reported earlier that to dismiss interest from Manchester United, Ajax turned down the Premier League club’s opening bid of $61 million for Antony and demanded at least $81 million.
However, Manchester United are not willing to go beyond $61 million for the 22-year-old Antony, according to Goal.com.
Former Ajax boss Ten Hag signed Antony from Sao Paulo in 2020. The football player scored 22 goals and provided 20 assists for the Eredivisie champions in the last two seasons.
Ten Hag now wants to reunite with Antony at Old Trafford. The former Sao Paulo forward’s agents even traveled to Europe at the end of the last season to hold talks with Manchester United. While Antony is keen to join Ten Hag in the Premier League, Ajax want to hold on to the Brazilian forward for another season at least.
In the latest update, Forbes soccer journalist Sam Pilger, who has a credible record in European soccer, said Ajax may now consider reducing their asking price for Antony and the Red Devils could return with a new bid.
Manchester United had a troublesome season in 2021-22. Under Ten Hag, the Red Devils are hoping to improve and reach the level of the likes of Liverpool FC and Manchester City.
The Red Devils even failed to secure Champions League soccer after finishing outside the top four of the Premier League last term. Manchester United are scheduled to kickstart their 2022-23 campaign with a home league game against Brighton on Aug. 7.