Ajax turned down a £76.3 million bid from the Red Devils on Friday, forcing the Brazilian winger to give a furious interview before practically going on strike and refusing to play against Utrecht on Sunday.
During the game, it was revealed that United had finally persuaded the Eredivisie champions to sell and were closing in on a €99 million (£84 million) deal.
That cost, which includes add-ons, is slightly shy of Ajax’s nine-figure asking price, but it will still be a Dutch club record.
According to De Telegraaf, Ajax’s choice to entertain United’s latest offer has produced a schism among the club’s administration, with Schreuder and technical director Gerry Hamstra constantly insisting Antony will not be sold.
But Ajax’s board believes United’s offer is simply too good to pass up, and they are now ready to sanction a deal that will make Antony the second-most expensive player to join United behind Paul Pogba.
Schreuder was uninformed of any developments in the transfer drama following Ajax’s 2-0 victory over Utrecht, but he was visibly irritated at the prospect of losing a player he had intended to keep.
When asked about a deal for Antony that appeared to be done for €99 million, Schreuder said ESPN, ‘I would make it a €100 million deal then!’ You should approach [CEO] Edwin van der Sar or Hamstra about it.’
Later in the interview, though, the Ajax manager expressed his displeasure at losing Antony, saying, ‘Nowadays everything is about money.’ This saddens me.
‘But this is now our world. It’s quite terrible, and I don’t approve of what’s happening to us.’
During his post-match press conference, Schreuder stated that he “stuck by his words” from last week, claiming Antony would not leave the club despite the recent reports, but seemed agitated by the line of questions.
‘I want to talk about the game, not Antony,’ Ajax coach stated. ‘I’ve said more than enough on the subject.’
Ajax’s squad has been utterly dismantled over the summer, with the club already losing Sebastien Haller, Lisandro Martinez, and Ryan Gravenberch – as well as manager Erik ten Hag.
A €99 million offer for a player who scored eight goals and four assists in the Eredivisie last season was finally impossible to turn down, and Ajax will now attempt to bring in a successor, with Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech at the top of their wish list.