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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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EPL: Bacary Sagna predicts scorelines for Man City vs Utd, Arsenal vs Tottenham fixtures

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Former Arsenal defender, Bacary Sagna, has predicted the scoreline for Manchester City’s Premier League clash against Manchester United.

Sagna also predicted the outcome of Arsenal’s Premier League tie against Tottenham Hotspur.

Man City will host Man United in a Premier League derby at Etihad on Sunday, while Arsenal will take on Tottenham in a London derby at Emirates on Saturday afternoon.

Providing his predictions, Sagna said Man City would beat Man United by three goals to nil, while Arsenal will defeat Tottenham 2-0.

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“I can’t see anyone other than City winning this match. I think City will win 3-0,” Sagna told Lord Ping.

He added, “Arsenal will win. Arsenal 2-0.”

“Listen, make no mistake, this will be a tough game for Arsenal. Tottenham has quality players, dangerous players. Son [Heung-min] has come into a bit of form. [Harry] Kane, we all know what he can do.”

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Volleyball: Offa, Customs win Premier League

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Offa Volleyball Club (male) and the Nigeria Customs Service (female) have emerged the champions of the 2022 Nigeria Volleyball Premier League competition.

In the men’s final match at the indoor hall of the Ondo State Sports Complex, Akure, Offa defeated Nigeria Correctional Service 3-2 (25-16, 23-25, 25-17, 17-25, 15-11), while in the women’s category, Customs emerged champions, beating Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-21) on the final day of the league.

Offa coach, Suleiman Ajeigbe, expressed delight over the victory, saying the trophy would be going to Offa community for the first time.

Ajeigbe also commended his players for properly executing their game plan and playing to instruction.

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He said, “I feel so proud, I feel so excited and I give all glory to God almighty. It has been a very challenging one, but to the glory of God. In the history of the Nigeria Volleyball Premier League, Offa, a local government in Kwara State will be lifting the trophy, this is historical, this has never happened before.

“Offa Volleyball Club came into being to help the youths in my community. I started the club to ensure that every member of my team is Kwara-born, majority of them are born in Offa. It is to the glory of God that I was able to start it, most of my players are playing outside the country now. I started the club in 2010, so it’s been a long time actually.”

Customs coach, Sunny Akapson, said his side’s victory was as a result of hard work, determination and dedication.

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EPL: Glen Johnson predicts result of Arsenal vs Tottenham derby clash

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Former Chelsea star, Glenn Johnson has provided his prediction for Saturday’s North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham.

Mikel Arteta’s side will receive Antonio Conte’s Spurs at the Emirates on Saturday.

The Gunners would be leapfrogged by Tottenham at the top of the Premier League table if they hand Arteta’s side their second defeat of the season.

Arsenal has won six out of seven of their opening games, losing once to Manchester United.

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Spurs are unbeaten and just a point behind them in third, with Tottenham able to leapfrog their rivals with a victory.

Johnson told SafeBettingSites: “It’s going to be a tough one to call, to be honest.

“Tottenham looks great, Arsenal looks great. Finally, we’ve got two good teams going into the north London derby!.

‘This is their first big test, for both teams. [I’m going] 2-1 to Arsenal.’

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