Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd stumble in Antony pursuit, as key contract clause sees Ajax flatten £40m transfer hopes

Antony, Brazil and Ajax star, during Olympics Games match v Mexico at Ibaraki Kashima Stadium, Ibaraki, Japan

Ajax will demand more than £40million from Manchester United for Antony because of a sell-on clause for his old club, according to a report.

New Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag is looking to rekindle ties with some of the star players he has worked with at the Dutch club. He reportedly wants as many as five new signings this summer, with Antony a key target.

The Brazilian scored 12 goals and assisted 10 others last season. Indeed, he is an exciting attacking prospect at the age of 22.

Man Utd officials have therefore reportedly flown into Amsterdam on Tuesday to try and get a deal over the line.

The reports said that United hoped £40million would do the trick for Antony.

According to the latest from ESPN in the Netherlands, though, Ajax want more than United’s original offer.

They have made clear that Sao Paolo – Antony’s former club – are due 20 per cent of any figure Ajax sell him for, as part of a sell-on clause they negotiated.

Ajax signed Antony for €15.75million, with bonuses and add-ons potentially taking the deal to €21.75million.

The Dutch giants subsequently want maximum profit on the winger, aside from the sell-on clause for Sao Paolo. Antony moved to Ajax in the summer of 2020 and has contributed 22 goals and 20 assists overall for the club.

Antony and others have Ten Hag links

Brazil forwards Antony and Gabriel Martinelli

He is not the only star Ten Hag has worked with that the new Man Utd manager wants in his squad.

Defender Jurrien Timber has become a star Eredivisie centre-back for Ajax but has doubts over his potential game time at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has insisted that he wants to stay at Camp Nou.

However, there is a bigger agenda at play, with cash-strapped Barca seeing the 25-year-old as one of their most saleable assets.

Crucial season as Man Utd, Ajax links continue

It is a crucial season for United following their sixth-placed Premier League finish last term.

While there are a host of players looking to prove themselves, Antony could yet join Donny van de Beek in trying to hit the ground running after leaving Ajax.

Van de Beek has struggled for game time in his two seasons at Old Trafford. And even a loan move to Everton last season could not reinvigorate him.

If Antony moves to Man Utd, he will hope for a much smoother transition. Given it is Ten Hag at the helm, there is every chance that could happen.