Antony 'ready to bring success to Manchester United' after completing £86m move

Brazilian winger becomes United's second-most expensive player in history after signing five-year contract

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Brazilian winger Antony said he is delighted to join "one of the most iconic clubs in the world" after completing his move to Manchester United on Thursday.

United released a statement on Tuesday confirming the club had "reached agreement with Ajax for the transfer of Antony, subject to a medical, player terms being finalised, and international clearance", and the deal was finalised on transfer deadline day after the 22-year-old put pen to paper on a five-year contract with the option of an additional year.

It is understood that the initial transfer fee United will pay Ajax is around £86 million which could rise to more than £100m with various add-ons.

United and Ajax had been locked in negotiations for several weeks after the Dutch champions rejected previous bids of £70m and £80m for the Brazil international, who reacted by publicly expressing his "desire to leave the club to face a new challenge". The breakthrough bid makes Antony United's second-most expensive player, behind only Paul Pogba, and sees him reunite with former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag.

“This is an incredible moment in my career to be joining one of the most iconic clubs in the world. I’m thankful to everyone who has believed in me, especially my family, and all my coaches and teammates, because I could not have got here without them," Antony said in a United statement.

“Playing under Erik ten Hag at Ajax was perfect for me and my development. His style of football and coaching brings out the best in me, and I am excited by what he has told me about his plans and ambitions in Manchester.

“My time at Ajax was fantastic and I will always be grateful for the trust they put in me, but now I am ready for the next challenge, and I can’t wait to join my new teammates and play my part in bringing success to Manchester United.”

Antony came through the youth system at Sao Paulo and made his first-team debut in November 2018. He moved to Ajax in February 2020, helping the Amsterdam club win successive league titles and the Dutch Cup.

Antony's arrival takes United's summer spending to more than £200m and sees him swiftly reunite with Argentine defender Lisandro Martinez and manager Ten Hag, both of whom also arrived at Old Trafford this summer from Ajax. United have also signed Antony's international teammate Casemiro from Real Madrid and Dutch full-back Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord, while Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen arrived on a free transfer.

“Antony is one of the most exciting young talents in European football and has exactly the right profile for the attacking, dynamic team Erik is building," said United football director John Murtough.

“We have been especially impressed by his desire to join Manchester United, and to be part of a long-term project to get the club back to the levels of performance we all expect.”

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Updated: September 01, 2022, 9:34 AM
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