AFC Ajax star Antony has thrown another spout of fresh speculation surrounding his future in Amsterdam today after the 22-year-old Brazilian starlet was once again absent from training.
As reported by Manchester United insider Jonas Hen Shrag, Antony refused to train with the Dutch giants today just one day after failing to take part in proceedings just yesterday despite being at the club’s De Toekomst training complex.
This comes in the wake of United having a huge €80m (£68m) bid rebuffed by de Godenzonen recently after the Red Devils have set their sights on the São Paulo native in the hopes that they can secure badly needed reinforcements out wide at the behest of new club boss and former Ajax headmaster Erik ten Hag.
Interest from United comes as no surprise after Ten Hag directly managed the Brazilian winger during his final season at the club, with Antony already sitting at 24 goals and 22 assists in just 82 appearances across all competitions during his first two seasons at Ajax.
He has also started the current 2022-23 Eredivisie campaign smartly with a goal and two assists to his name in the club’s two league fixtures in wins over Fortuna Sittard and FC Groningen, while also finding the back of the net in Ajax’s 5-3 loss against rivals PSV Eindhoven in the Johan Cruijff Schaal.
Though his now two-day absence from training will seemingly strengthen United’s position at the negotiating table in the wake of recent comments where he failed to rule out a summer exit, the reality is that United will have to come up with €100m (£85m) according to Hen Shrag if they are to secure their man this summer.
The Red Devils have been linked with a host of other wide options this week and could return to any one of them if advances on the Antony front continue to be scuppered, with Cody Gakpo, Yannick Carrasco, and Christian Pulisic being named as possible alternatives, while Anthony Gordon and Moussa Diaby reportedly being admired by some inside the club.
Should United offer up the required fee, it would take their summer spending to a mammoth €243m (£206m) after already signing Casemiro, Lisandro Martínez, and Tyrell Malacia, while adding Christian Eriksen on a free deal.