Ajax manager aims dig at Man Utd in defiant message over Antony

Tom Gott
Antony's future remains up in the air
Antony's future remains up in the air / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Ajax manager Alfred Schreuder has insisted he wants to keep winger Antony at the club, even aiming a dig at Manchester United in the process.

The Brazil international has missed training sessions and was kept out of Sunday's matchday squad that beat Sparta Rotterdam 1-0 as he looks to force through a reunion with United boss Erik ten Hag.

United have seen a £68m bid for Antony knocked back, with Ajax holding out for closer to £78m, and sources close to the Eredivisie side have confirmed that another bid from United is expected to arrive imminently.

Amid the uncertainty, Schreuder reiterated his desire to keep Antony around this summer and questioned why the winger would want to leave to join a club that will not be playing Champions League football this season.

"I just want Antony to stay, so I assume he will not be sold," Schreuder told ESPN. "The money in question is absurd, but we’ve already sold five or six core players. I don’t think it’s right if we sell another player.

"My feeling about that is good, but I also understand the boy. It is difficult. But we play Champions League and I don’t think Manchester United do that. We’ll see what happens."

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Asked whether Ajax could afford to reject such an astronomical offer, the boss insisted: "I cannot judge that, the club has to judge that. But I think we’re very strong financially."

Antony remains United's top attacking target for the remainder of the window and club officials are also considering adding more than one new forward, with PSV's Cody Gakpo and Chelsea's Christian Pulisic both on the radar.