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Antony to Man Utd: Ajax reject £76.3m bid for winger from Erik Ten Hag’s new club

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Ajax have rejected Manchester United’s latest offer of £76.3m (€90m) for Brazil winger Antony.

United have been chasing the 22-year-old for several weeks and saw a £67.9m (€80m) offer rebuffed by the club earlier this week.

Antony was omitted from the Ajax squad for last Sunday’s 1-0 win over Sparta Rotterdam, in the latest indication the player wants to move to Old Trafford, but the Eredivisie champions have stood firm against United’s improved offer.

“Since February of this year, my agents came to Amsterdam to inform Ajax of my desire to leave the club to face a new challenge and that some interested clubs would arrive and, with them, certainly a great offer,” Antony said via Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano on YouTube.

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“During the window months, meetings concluded including a proposal from Ajax for contract renewal. I made it clear once again I want to leave the club.

“Today in a meeting with the board I expressed my interest in leaving the club, this time with a considerable offer on the table. Others have already arrived (but) Ajax always refuses with the argument it only has five days to replace (me).

“I’m not asking (for Ajax) to release me, I am asking Ajax to sell me as the highest bid received by a player who plays in the Eredivisie.”

A move to United would see Antony reunited with ex-Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, who has already recruited defender Lisandro Martinez from his former club.

“I was very happy in Amsterdam, I won titles at Ajax, made friends and built part of my career, but now I reinforce that I am ready and full of motivation to follow my story and my dreams,” he added.

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“People need to listen to me and understand that my motivation moves me towards happiness. I need this to continue performing at a high level. Ajax will always be in my heart.”

Despite rejecting the latest bid, talks are ongoing between the two clubs, ahead of the transfer deadline on September 1.

‘You can understand Ajax’s position over sale’
Sky Sports News’ Dharmesh Sheth on The Transfer Show:

“Erik Ten Hag said United need top players, Man Utd continue to pursue Antony and they continue to be thwarted by Ajax.

“An €80m bid was rejected last week, we’ve just been told they’ve gone back in with a €90m bid including add-ons, and again Ajax want more money.

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“You can understand Ajax’s position. With six days to go in the transfer window, they can probably smell a bit of desperation from Man Utd’s side. Why should they not try to raise it as far as they can, simply because they might be at a disadvantage as well?

“Yes, they’ll have all this money in the bank if they sell Antony to United, but how much time would they have to bring in a replacement?

“Antony has made it clear he wants to leave Ajax and join United, though. Talks are ongoing between the clubs, there’s a friendly relationship between them, but we think Ajax may want to push as far as €100m before they would sell him.”

Schreuder confident over Antony future
Speaking earlier this week, Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder said he was confident Antony would remain at the club – and appeared to take a swipe at the fact that United are not playing in the Champions League.

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“I have a good feeling about it. Of course, it’s difficult. I understand the lad,” Schreuder said after Ajax’s win on Sunday. “But he plays for Ajax, so these clubs do come knocking on the door. We are playing in the Champions League and I don’t think Manchester United are.”

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When asked if Ajax could afford to turn down bids of €90 or €100m, he replied: “I don’t know, that’s for the club to decide, but I think we are very strong financially.

“As I already said, the money involved nowadays is ridiculous, of course. But if you look at our group, since I arrived we have already sold five or six key players. I disapprove if we were to sell another player.”

Why Antony is Ten Hag’s man
“For sure, we hope he will be the next star of Ajax.” It was July 2020 and Erik ten Hag, Ajax’s manager at the time, was introducing Antony, the club’s new £20m signing from Sao Paulo.

“We at Ajax are always trying to strive for the top,” added Ten Hag. “So I expect he will do his best to reach that level of expectation. The rest, we will see in the future.”

Ten Hag was right to expect big things of Antony – the Brazilian, only 19 when he agreed his move to Amsterdam, swiftly established himself as one of Ajax’s key players – but even he could not have predicted he might one day take him to Manchester United too.

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Olise’s late strike gets Palace point against United

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Michael Olise has helped Crystal Palace get a point against Manchester United in their 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park Stadium on Wednesday night.

The midfielder’s late strike in extra-time, 91′, levelled the game against United, who had controlled the lead since the 43rd minute of the first half after Bruno Fernandes’ fine finish put the Red Devils ahead just before the break.

A relentless Olise scored from a free kick with a left-footed shot to the top right corner. The equalising goal saw United’s dream of replacing defending EPL champions City in the second place on the league table, fade away, as they remain third with 39 points, having played a game more than City.

Crystal Palace remains in 12th place with 23 points.

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Atletico Madrid head coach speaks on leaving Atletico Madrid

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Atletico Madrid head coach, Diego Simeone, has insisted that nobody has personally told him to leave the club.

Rumours have persisted that Simeone, 52, could be set to end this 11-year stay at Atletico Madrid at the end of the season.

However, the Argentine has now stated that no one at the club has asked him to quit the La Liga giants.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Atletico Madrid’s Copa del Rey tie with Levante on Wednesday night, Simeone said when asked about reports suggesting he would leave the club at the end of the season: “No one has personally asked me to leave.”

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However, having already been eliminated from UEFA Champions League and sitting 13 points behind leaders Barcelona in the La Liga table, the Copa del Rey is Atletico Madrid’s last realistic opportunity for a trophy this season.

It has been a disappointing campaign for Simeone’s side, as they sit fourth in the league.

Simeone added, “The boys are enthusiastic to reverse this situation that we have experienced since the break and prior to the World Cup. It’s been a regular to a bad season. For me, there is growth after the break, hopefully, we will continue in that line.”

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EPL: Frank Lampard won’t run away – Shaun Wright-Phillips

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Former Chelsea player, Shaun Wright-Phillips has backed his former teammate, Frank Lampard to stay at Goodison Park and turn things around.

Wright-Phillips said his former team-mate does not run away from challenges such as Everton is facing now but would face them squarely

Lampard is in danger of being sacked any moment from now after yet another defeat on Friday.

Everton crashed out of the FA Cup on Friday after they were beaten 3-1 by Manchester United at Old Trafford

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Frank Lampard has now led Toffees to six defeats in their last seven matches and they have also crashed out of the Carabao Cup and are currently 18th in the Premier League.

“Frank Lampard has always been a player and a person that won’t run away from things not going well,” Wright-Phillips told the BBC.

“He is the type of person to try and solve it or try and make the situation a lot better…”

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