Antony may be forced to wear a number he’s never worn in his professional career if he completes his £84 million move from Ajax to Manchester United before the transfer window ends.
Antony will be denied his desired shirt number if he joins Manchester United in the coming days.
United are said to have negotiated a deal of £85 million with Ajax for the 22-year-old Brazilian. The Dutch champions did not want to sell Antony, who is on strike and missed their 2-0 away win against Utrecht on Sunday, but have now reluctantly agreed to part ways with their hero.
United manager Erik ten Hag brought Antony to Ajax two years ago. In 57 Eredivisie games since then, he’s scored 18 goals and provided 14 assists, winning two league titles and one cup. He’s also made it into Brazil’s senior team, earning nine caps so far.
At Ajax, Antony wears the No.11 jersey, but he won’t be able to do so at Old Trafford because Mason Greenwood already has it, though the United striker is now unavailable for selection.
Antony also prefers the No.39 jersey, which he wore at his first club in Sao Paulo and during his first season at Ajax. Scott McTominay, who has worn the jersey since breaking into the first-team squad five years ago, wears it at United.
If Cristiano Ronaldo departs the team this month, Antony might take his place. The Portuguese superstar wants to leave Old Trafford to play in the Champions League, and his future is uncertain. During the 2018/19 season, Antony wore the No.7 jersey for Sao Paulo.
If Ronaldo stays, Antony will very certainly be forced to wear a number he’s never worn in his professional career. The No.15, which was last worn by his countrymen Andreas Pereira, is a viable alternative. The midfielder moved to Fulham earlier this summer.
Nemanja Vidic, who created a renowned defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand at Old Trafford during Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure, made the No.15 iconic. The number was also used by Jesper Blomqvist, a member of the treble-winning side in 1998/99.
Another possibility is the No.21 jersey, which was left vacant by Edinson Cavani at the end of last season. That shirt has previously been worn by Ander Herrera and Dan James. Other alternatives include Nos. 24, 26, 27, 30, 31, 32, and 35.
Ajax does not want to lose Antony after selling Sebastien Haller, Nicolas Tagliafico, Perr Schuurs, Ryan Gravenberch, and Lisandro Martinez earlier this summer, the latter of whom has joined Ten Hag at Old Trafford. However, £84m may be too much to refuse.
“The Antony situation is the same as it was last week,” Schreuder told ESPN on Sunday afternoon. “We talk about it internally every day, as well as with the player. We talk after he reports himself to the club. But I want to concentrate on the players we have here for the time being; Antony is unimportant.”
Ten Hag stated following United’s 1-0 away win over Southampton on Saturday afternoon: “We will strike if a good player becomes available because we want to strengthen the squad. We shall be vigilant till the very last second of the window.” United are said to have completed an £85 million agreement to transfer the forward to Old Trafford.