Manchester United will make Brazilian star Antony one of the most expensive signings in the club’s history after announcing they have agreed a deal with Ajax for the winger.
The 22-year-old is set to sign a five-year deal with United, where he will link up with former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag, who moved to the Old Trafford bench at the end of last season.
The fee is reported at £81.3m ($94.4m) as a fixed amount with £4.2m ($4.9m) in add-ons, including a solidarity payment to former Brazilian club Sao Paulo.
“Manchester United have reached an agreement with Ajax for the transfer of Antony, subject to medical review, completion of player terms and international clearance.” read a club statement.
“Antony has 31 goals and 27 assists in 134 club appearances for Ajax and São Paulo, and two goals and two assists in nine senior appearances for his native Brazil. He has won two Eredivisie titles and a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics.”
Dutch champions Ajax played hardball with the final deal, rejecting previous offers from United before agreeing to a deal.
The player had reportedly tried to force a move by withdrawing from training and also missed Ajax’s Eredivisie win at Utrecht on Sunday.
Capped nine times by Brazil and scoring twice, Antony is aiming to make his country’s squad for the Qatar 2022 World Cup later this year.
He becomes United’s fifth summer signing, following the arrivals of Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro, in a £200m-plus spending spree. It is also the second deal made between United and Ajax in the current window after centre-back Martinez joined the Dutch outfit in a £56.7m deal in July.
Antony is among United’s most expensive purchases in the club’s history, with Paul Pogba leading the way with his world-record fee of £89m from Juventus in 2016. Striker Romelu Lukaku joined Everton for an initial £75m in 2017, although that figure should increase with the accessories.
After a disastrous start to the current Premier League campaign with home loss to Brighton and a 4-0 humiliation at Brentford, Ten Hag’s side put on a spirited performance to beat bitter rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford last week before continuing with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Southampton on Saturday.
United next travel to bottom-of-the-table Leicester in the Premier League on Thursday night, before hosting league leaders Arsenal on Sunday.