Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder remains optimistic about keeping Manchester United target Antony, despite the unsettled winger sitting out a 1-0 win at Sparta Rotterdam on Sunday.
Antony starred in consecutive title-winning campaigns under Erik ten Hag in Amsterdam, and the new United boss is reportedly keen on a reunion with the Brazilian as he bids to reverse the Red Devils’ poor start to the season.
Ten Hag became the first United manager in over a century to lose his first two games at the helm when his team suffered an embarrassing 4-0 loss at Brentford, and he is looking to make several additions ahead of the closure of the transfer window.
United have already reached an agreement to sign Real Madrid enforcer Casemiro, and they have been tipped to make a big-money move for Antony after seeing Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho struggle in the wide positions.
Speaking after Ajax maintained their perfect start to the Eredivisie campaign, head coach Schreuder indicated he hoped the Dutch club would not be tempted to sell.
He told ESPN: “I want Antony to stay, so I don’t assume he will be sold.
“The money we are talking about is absurd these days. [But] we’ve already sold five or six base players. I don’t like it if we sell another player. I think we are very strong financially.”
The former Barcelona assistant then took aim at Antony’s suitors, adding: “We play Champions League, I don’t think United do.”
Antony hit double figures in each of his first two seasons with Ajax, scoring 11 goals in the 2020-21 campaign after joining from Sao Paulo before netting 12 times in all competitions last term.
Former Tottenham attacker Steven Bergwijn scored Ajax’s only goal on Sunday, after Schreuder confirmed in a pre-match interview that Antony was left out due to not being in the right state of mind to play.
“I spoke to him. He has indicated that he does not feel 100 per cent to play,” Schreuder said.
“I only want to have players in the selection who are 100 per cent with Ajax. I am very clear about that. That is the most important thing for me.”
Speaking to De Telegraaf on Saturday, Antony refused to rule out a move to Old Trafford and backed Ten Hag to improve United, revealing the Red Devils boss had been “super important” in his development.