Manchester United have dropped their pursuit of a right winger after being priced out of a move for Ajax’s Antony, according to the Manchester Evening News.
The Red Devils made an initial bid of €60 million (£51 million) for the Brazilian international, but it fell short of Ajax’s €80 million (£68 million) transfer estimate.
United was expected to negotiate a lower price, but the Manchester Evening News now claims that the club ‘no longer expects’ to sign the former Sao Paulo player.
Manchester United has been scared off by Ajax’s asking price, while a new right winger is no longer a priority after Jadon Sancho excelled in pre-season.
In our opinion:
Antony had a successful 2021/22 season at Ajax under manager Erik ten Hag. Before suffering an ankle injury, he had an amazing score of 12 goals and 10 assists in 32 appearances.
It was reported at the beginning of last month that United was confident of acquiring him for £51 million, but that has not been the case, with Ajax seeking an additional £17 million for his services.
Following the lengthy transfer saga for Lisandro Martinez, United will be aware that Ajax’s stance will not change. United’s decision to withdraw its interest is most likely the correct one.
Sancho was bought from Borussia Dortmund last summer with the intention of reinforcing the right side, but he ended up playing on the opposite flank last season.
Ten Hag has helped him realize his potential by starting him on the right wing since pre-season, and this could pay off as the club prepares for the new Premier League season.
Ten Hag could still rely on Anthony Elanga and Amad Diallo if Sancho was rested. Last season, he was more than enough in the role under manager Ralf Rangnick.
The cash set aside for Antony might be used to strengthen other critical posts. United may still chase a right-back and a striker in addition to a midfielder.