Manchester United target Antony has been left out of Ajax’s squad to face Sparta Rotterdam with the Dutch side expecting an improved €100million [£85m] offer.
United have long been chasing the Brazilian winger, who starred under Erik ten Hag in Amsterdam last season before he left for Manchester.
Now Ten Hag is keen on reigniting that relationship following heavy interest at the start of the transfer window.
According to reports in the Netherlands, Ajax have already rejected bids of €60m [£51m] and €80m [£67m] for the 22-year-old, and are now awaiting a €100m [£85m] offer.
The Times claim the player, who only joined from Sao Paulo in 2020, was initially valued at just €80m by Ajax, but with just over a week left in the transfer window, the price has increased as they may be left without a replacement.
Antony had previously reaffirmed his commitment to Ajax, but after the club turned down a second bid from United, he failed to report to training on Friday or Saturday, and is now absent for the league clash with Sparta.
Ahead of the game the winger conducted an interview with Dutch outlet De Telegraaf in which he didn’t rule out the possibility of a transfer.
“What I can say is that I want to come to the right decision with my family, business partners and Ajax, which is good for everyone,” he said. “In the end, God determines my future.
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When asked whether he could guarantee his stay with Ajax beyond the summer, he added: “No, to be perfectly honest, I can’t.
“Now I am focusing on playing football and have put all other matters in the hands of my agents and my brother. They will advise me on what is best.
“I am very happy at Ajax, I have a contract until the summer of 2025 and I will give everything for this beautiful club for every second.
“I wear the shirt with pride and from day one I feel at home.
“If we all decide that I will stay here, then I know that this is the best thing for me and the club. It’s not like I have to leave.”
De Telegraaf claim that the player’s attitude ‘is not seen as a problem’ and manager Alfred Schreuder would be willing to leave him on the sidelines until the transfer window closes on September 1, knowing the Brazilian will need to get back to action quickly with a spot at the World Cup up for grabs.
However, if a €100m offer is lodged, Ten Hag may get his man, with United finally showing some impetus in the transfer market after a difficult summer.
The Manchester giants have opened the season with two losses from two games against Brighton and Brentford but have since bolstered their ranks with the blockbuster £60m superstar signing of Casemiro from Real Madrid.
Ten Hag has already brought in defender Lisandro Martinez from Ajax for £48.m as well as Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia, and Anthony would be their fifth addition of the window.
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