Manchester United appear to be closing in on their fifth major signing of the summer, amid reports that deal has been struck to bring Ajax winger Antony to Old Trafford.
According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, the Red Devils are all but set to confirm the addition of the Brazil international, having agreed a €100m (£85m) fee with the Dutch outfit for his signature.
Writing on Twitter about that imminent deal on Sunday evening, the transfer guru gave his much anticipated green light to the move: “Antony to Manchester United, here we go! Agreement in principle with Ajax, €100m fee. Contract until June 2027 with option until 2028. To be signed tomorrow.
“Contracts being prepared, it’s Eredivisie historical record fee — Antony will be in Manchester next week.”
United had previously seen an offer of around €90m (£76m) rejected for the 22-year-old late last week, although the indication is that the former Sao Paolo starlet will now become the second most expensive capture in the club’s history – behind the £89m signing of Paul Pogba back in 2016.
That impending switch will see the Premier League‘s side summer spending surpass £200m, with new boss Erik ten Hag having overseen an influx of new talent to help try and improve upon last season’s disappointment, with four new recruits already in the door.
Fresh from signing Real Madrid icon Casemiro for a mammoth £70m fee, United have now moved for his compatriot Antony to help further bolster the manager’s ranks, with the youngster having seemingly been desperate to force a move before the window slams shut.
Ten Hag too has seemingly been intent on bringing his former asset – whom he signed for the Amsterdam outfit two years ago – to England this summer, with the hefty transfer fee that has been reported seemingly a marker of that desperation.
Although that sizeable asking price has added notable risk to the addition of the nine-cap menace, the club’s willingness to splash the cash indicates just how keen the Dutchman is to be reunited with the winger in Manchester, with it set to be a big deal for the newly-appointed coach.
Not only will it see a player arrive who is already firmly accustomed to his way of playing, but it will also help to bolster a forward line that is currently devoid of quality depth, particularly with uncertainty still looming regarding Cristiano Ronaldo.
Typically deployed on the right flank, Antony will provide a unique left-footed alternative for United moving forward, with the current wide options largely at their best cutting in from the left wing.
While not prolific, the £31.5m-rated sensation has showcased his creative talents during his time in the Eredivisie, scoring 24 goals and providing 22 assists in 82 games in all competitions for his current side.
That includes a haul of 22 goal contributions from the 2021/22 campaign, with only Bruno Fernandes (24) and the aforementioned Ronaldo (27) having bettered that tally among the United squad last term.
Clearly providing additional firepower as well as a familiar face for Ten Hag at the Theatre of Dreams, the success of the fleet-footed forward could well define the manager’s tenure at the club.
As such, it is a big deal for the one-time Utrecht boss in every sense of the word.