In today's football, two markets coexist that are governed by different economic rules. One is from the Premier League and another from the rest of Europe. The amounts that move on the island are inconceivable on the mainland. There, inflation is the norm: any player can be worth more than 60 or 70 million if the sporting needs of the buying club so dictate. And those of Manchester United are many, and very urgent. After Christian Eriksen, Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martínez and Casemiro will arrive, in the absence of official confirmation, Antony, a coveted winger who has been dazzling Ajax for some time. It is known that he is Brazilian because of his passport, but also because of his football. His gifted technique has a 'Premier level' price: 100 million euros, in addition to the more than 143 that had already been invested during this summer market.
Antony will thus become the second most expensive signing in the history of Manchester United, only behind Paul Pogba (105 million). According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, the Brazilian will sign his contract with the Red Devils this Monday. Although all the details of the operation are not yet closed, the agreement is complete. His relationship with the team led by Erik ten Hag, who was already able to train him during his fruitful stage at the helm of the Dutch team, will last five seasons, with the option of extending one more year, until 2028. His desire to leave Ajax was manifest, and the only destination considered was United.
"In February this year my agents came to Amsterdam to inform Ajax of my desire to leave the club to face new challenges and that great offers would come from interested clubs," Antony said in an interview with Fabrizio Romano himself. "During the months of the transfer market, the meetings continued and I received a renewal proposal from Ajax. I made it clear once again: I want to leave," he insisted. Before knowing the amount offered by Manchester United for his contract, Antony was already aware of the dimensions of his move: "I'm not asking Ajax to let me go, I'm asking them to sell me for the highest price in history of the Eredivisie".
The sports needs of the Mancunians, their financial muscle and the advantageous position of Ajax in the negotiations are conditioning factors that raised the cost of the transfer to 100 million. However, if Antony reaches his assumed potential, this figure could end up being considered reasonable in the long run. This is the Brazilian soccer player par excellence, the technique raised to its maximum expression and put at the service of the enjoyment of the spectators. Trained in Sao Paulo, he made the leap to Europe in 2020 for just over 15 million euros. With each dribble, goal, heel control, cowtail or elastic, his value increased. Round business for a club accustomed to this type of operation.
The 22-year-old, nine-time international with Brazil and Olympic champion with the canarinha in Tokyo 2020, fits perfectly into the Ten Hag scheme, where the wingers are fundamental, both for the static attack and for the dazzling counterattacks. . In a United with Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford in poor form, Antony can clinch a place in the eleven and shake the roost a bit. His arrival, together with the exciting addition of Casemiro and the good performance that Lisandro Martínez is starting to show in central defense, could serve to reverse the negative and toxic trends of the Old Trafford team. He will leave Ajax after 82 games, in which he scored 24 goals and provided 22 assists.