Football News

“At some point you’re a professional” – Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder hits out at Anthony behaviour ahead of £85m Man United transfer

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 14:00, 30 August 2022

Ajax manager Alfred Schreuder has confirmed that Antony could be fined after downing tools in his attempt to force through a record-breaking switch to Manchester United.

The 22-year-old Brazilian forward becomes United’s second most expensive acquisition — behind Paul Pogba (€105m/£89m) — with the Amsterdammers receiving a base sum of €95m (£80.75m) that can rise to €100m (£85m) with add-ons.

Antony subsequently reunites with former De Godenzonen head coach Erik ten Hag and teammate Lisandro Martiez as well as linking up with international teammates Casemiro and Fred.

After featuring in Ajax’s opening two Eredivisie outings, which saw him register one goal and created two more, the Dutch champions rejected an €80m bid from United, a move that didn’t go down to well as it led to Antony going on strike before conducting an interview where he outlined his desire to join England’s most decorated top-flight club.

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His wish is about to be granted as Ajax eventually accepted an improved offer. Once it goes through Antony becomes the 13th player to move for at least €100m and the second to come from outside Europe’s big five leagues after João Félix (€126) who left boyhood club Benfica for Atlético Madrid in 2019.

Antony’s behaviour hasnt gone down too well in the Netherlands capital with Ten Hag’s successor Schreuder, who has already seen a number of first-team players leave this summer, when asked if his conduct would be punished monetarily the Dutch tactician was adamantly clear.

“Absolutely. I don’t think it’s good that it’s possible within our club,” he told Ziggo Sport.

“If you’re Ajax, it’s just bad that this happens. I’ve talked about it with him. If you’re disappointed for a day or two, I understand, but at some point you’re a professional.

“Then I said: ‘I will continue with the guys who are there’. At a certain point you get angry about it, like… what are we doing? Looking at the total picture, that frustrates you as a trainer, but also how you stand in the world.

“Then I think, ‘you’re just a player, you just have to do your thing’. But my personal feeling is that it’s just bad.”

Speaking about Antony’s price tag, which makes him the Eredivisie’s most expensive export, Schreuder was a loss for words but understands the new reality.

“Today, the amounts are crazy,” he added. “Barcelona paid €115million for [Ousmane] Dembele, Manchester United also paid more than €100million for [Jadon] Sancho.

“Then you can pay that for him [Antony] too. Are the players worth it? No. But it will be paid.”