‘Completely off the agenda’ – Sky reporter plays down United’s chances of landing target

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Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth has claimed that a Manchester United move for Ajax winger Antony is unlikely to happen unless the Dutch giants lower their valuation.

Goal claimed early last month that the Old Trafford outfit had made an opening £51million bid for the 22-year-old, only to see it rejected with Ajax holding out for £68million.

The Brazilian enjoyed an impressive campaign under Erik ten Hag last season having scored twelve goals across all competitions, while also providing ten assists, with four of those coming in the Champions League (transfermarkt).

Having already raided the Eredivisie outfit for Lisandro Martinez, it appears that Ajax are not prepared to lose another of their star players for a price which does not meet their expectations.

Sheth revealed that Ajax are under no pressure to part company with Antony considering he still has three years to run on his existing contract and suggested the only change in dynamic could be if the player decides to try to force through a move instead.

He told Sky Sports: “Manchester United are looking to strengthen their forward line, with or without Cristiano Ronaldo.

“From the outset of this window, we know that United’s priorities were central midfield and strengthening the forward line. It wasn’t necessarily an out-and-out centre forward as they’re still legislating for the fact that Ronaldo is staying.

“I’m told that a move for Antony is completely off the agenda unless Ajax reduce their asking price for the player. They’re under no pressure to sell as he has three years left on his contract.

“I just wonder whether the dynamic could change if Antony forces the hand of Ajax by saying he wants to leave.”

The Sports View

United’s focus needs to be firmly on Frenkie de Jong at this moment in time given the priority to improve the central midfield options, rather than those out wide.

It would only make sense for a move for Antony to materialise if the de Jong deal is completely off the table since it seems unlikely the club would pay in excess of over £110million for two players before the window closes.