mad money | 

Manchester United ‘crazy’ to pay €100m for Antony, says Ajax boss

Antony is set to leave Ajax for Manchester United. Photo: PA/Reuters© REUTERS

James DuckerTelegraph.co.uk

Ajax coach Alfred Schreuder has questioned Manchester United’s decision to splash a “crazy” €100m on Antony and hit out at the player’s conduct over the transfer.

It comes as United chase Sergino Dest as a surprise late move in the market with Barcelona now willing to allow the 21-year-old American international – who they signed from Ajax – to leave on a season-long loan.

An alternative remains Thomas Meunier with Borussia Dortmund desperate to remove his €150,000-per-week wages from their bill. The Belgian is also available on loan and if either Dest or Meunier is signed, United will try to move on Aaron Wan-Bissaka who’s wanted by former club Crystal Palace and West Ham.

United confirmed that they had agreed a deal with Ajax for Antony that will see the Brazil forward become the second most expensive signing in the club’s history.

Ajax will receive an initial €95m for Antony, with a further €5m payable in add-ons – a fee just short of United’s club record €104m outlay on Paul Pogba in 2016.

Antony will not be available to face Leicester tomorrow as his visa is not expected to be ratified in time, but Erik ten Hag will hope international clearance comes in time for the him to make his debut against Arsenal on Sunday.

United had bids of €60m, €80m and €90m rejected by Antony before finally landing their man, but Schreuder has questioned whether the forward was worth so much.

“Today, the amounts are crazy,” the Ajax coach told the Ziggo Sports programme. “Barcelona paid €115m for (Ousmane) Dembele, Manchester United also paid more than €100m for Sancho. Then you can pay that for him (Antony) too. Are the players worth it? No. But it will be paid.”

United are understood to have been impressed by the strength of Antony’s desire to join them. But Schreuder has criticised Antony’s behaviour after the player missed games against Sparta Rotterdam and Utrecht and trained alone amid the uncertainty over his future.


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