Antony cools transfer speculation after missing Ajax training amid Tottenham and Man Utd links

Reported Spurs and Manchester United transfer target Antony put fans of both clubs on red alert this week after seemingly skipping Ajax’s first day of pre-season training.

The Brazilian sent the transfer rumour mill into a frenzy after he wasn’t spotted amongst the group of players taking part in new manager Alfred Schreuder’s first training session on Friday morning, with many speculating it was due to his potential departure this summer. But a day later he was back amongst it at the training ground, posting videos of himself working out at the club’s gym as he continues to prepare for the new season. In one of the videos, which showed him running on a treadmill, Antony included a message that read: “The season has officially begun!! Focus on the recovery!!”

Antony has a reported price tag of around £68million on his shoulders as the Eredivisie champions hope to keep hold of their star man who scored 12 goals and provided ten assists in 32 games last season during new United boss Erik ten Hag’s last season in charge at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

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Now, ten Hag is hoping to reunite with his former player at Old Trafford, though he faces stiff competition not only from Antonio Conte at Spurs but also from his Ajax successor Schreuder, who has said repeatedly that he wants to work with Antony, who still has two years left on his current contract, next season.

“Clearly, we want to keep the boy,” Schreuder told ESPN . “He has a contract until 2025, but I’m not about that [any individual players]. I’m about the squad and I really want to work with him. He knows that and the club knows that too.”

Antony’s history with ten Hag might well sway the forward to choose United if they come bidding for him this summer, though it’s certainly not the only factor at play in a potential transfer. The Red Devils are currently chasing a deal for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, having seen first-team players Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata all leave at the end of their contracts this month.

With a midfield replacement of high priority, United’s focus on a deal for Antony might still be withdrawn for some time, leaving Spurs in a good position were they to decide to act quickly. The Lilywhites are currently looking at other forward tarrgets including Leeds United’s Raphinha but they also have a card up their sleeve in Steven Bergwijn.

The forward made it clear he wanted to leave north London this summer and is reportedly close to sealing a move to Ajax for a fee in the region of £20million. It has not been suggested that the deal could be used as a makeweight to bring Antony to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, though healthy discussions between the two clubs over Bergwijn’s move can only be a positive thing for any future deals if they arise.


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