Sky Sports journalist Dharmesh Sheth has blamed Manchester United’s failed pursuit of Frenkie de Jong as the reason that the club have had to pay over the odds for Ajax’s Antony.
The Red Devils prioritised a move for de Jong earlier in the window, when Antony was available for a much lower amount. However, the Brazilian’s price tag increased as the transfer deadline approached so, when they pulled out of the de Jong deal, it led to United paying €100m for Antony:
“They could have got him for much cheaper earlier in the window, but because they were pursuing a deal for Frenkie de Jong deal, they let that one go to the backburner and revisited it, so you can’t blame Ajax for not wanting to sell him that late in the transfer window. But once the player made big moves to leave the club, Ajax were put in a position where they said, ‘let’s get as much as we can, even if we can’t get a replacement’, although we think they are looking at a return from Hakim Ziyech from Chelsea.”
While United supporters should be happy that the club have managed to bag one of Erik ten Hag’s main targets, the club have been pretty shambolic with their transfer dealings over the summer.
Waiting for months to see whether de Jong would sign, then paying £155m to bring in both Casemiro and Antony late on in the window shows you the lack of planning in the upper echelons at Old Trafford.