Manchester United have formally announced the Antony transfer on a five-year contract with the option of a further year – and the player has revealed his reasons for forcing the move during his first interview as a Red Devils player.
The Brazilian star has been the subject of intense speculation for several weeks, with the player emerging as Erik ten Hag’s No 1 target in the latter stages of the window. Ajax, though, having already lost Lisandro Martinez to United, were not prepared to sanction his sale on the cheap.
Indeed, the Red Devils saw two offers declined before a third offer – believed to be for £86m – was finally agreed.
Having initially valued the player at £60m, it seems incredible that Ajax have managed to push United so high. Indeed, pundit Kevin Campbell has explained why he thinks United have been ripped off.
Time will tell whether United have got themselves value for money. Antony has 31 goals and 27 assists in 134 club appearances for Ajax and Sao Paulo combined.
Regardless, the player has spoken of his happiness at sealing the move to Old Trafford.
“This is an incredible moment in my career to be joining one of the most iconic clubs in the world. I’m thankful to everyone who has believed in me, especially my family, and all my coaches and teammates. I could not have got here without them,” he told the club’s official website.
“Playing under Erik ten Hag at Ajax was perfect for me and my development. His style of football and coaching brings out the best in me, and I am excited by what he has told me about his plans and ambitions in Manchester.
John Murtough welcomes Antony transfer
“My time at Ajax was fantastic and I will always be grateful for the trust they put in me, but now I am ready for the next challenge, and I can’t wait to join my new team-mates and play my part in bringing success to Manchester United.”
The arrival of the club’s second most costly player has also been welcomed by director football John Murtough.
“Antony is one of the most exciting young talents in European football. He has exactly the right profile for the attacking, dynamic team Erik is building.
“We have been especially impressed by his desire to join Manchester United, and to be part of a long-term project to get the club back to the levels of performance we all expect.”
Antony will unlikely be eligible for Thursday’s Premier League clash against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
However, a debut in Sunday’s clash against table-topping Arsenal does look to be on the cards.
Star will be under intense scrutiny
All eyes will be on the player as he settles into life at Manchester United.
The player will reunite with Ten Hag, who most definitely got the best out of him at Ajax.
However, given the enormity of the fee, the pressure will be huge on him to perform at Old Trafford.
A hugely-talented player, he will likely slot into United’s attack which has struggled over the past year.
The player does have something of a reputation as a hot head and opposing defenders will no doubt be aware of that.
But he will be expected to hit the ground running and lead United back into the top four at least.
Whether he can supply the goal ammunition to Cristiano Ronaldo remains to be seen. Ronaldo is still looking to leave United, and with time running out before the window shuts, talk over a move to Chelsea has seemingly re-emerged.