Manchester United privately admit they overpaid to sign Antony from Ajax

Manchester United spent £85m on signing Antony from Ajax last summer (Reuters)

Manchester United’s hierarchy privately concede that they overpaid for Antony last summer, according to reports.

The Brazil international has shown flashes of his talent since his £85 million move from Ajax and has scored five goals in 16 appearances so far.

But the 22-year-old has already faced criticism for some his performances this season under Erik ten Hag and many believe United have not seen a good enough return on their investment.

According to ESPN, United’s board accept they spent too much on signing Antony from Ajax but maintain there were three key reasons why they agreed to such a significant outlay with Ajax.

The report claims that United felt there were a lack of alternatives to Antony in his position on the right side of Ten Hag’s attack. United are said to believe that interest in the Brazil international would have been even higher in the summer, which would have raised the winger’s price.

A United source told ESPN: ‘We’ve paid for the player we think he can become, not the one he is now.’

It’s also claimed that United were ‘impressed’ by Antony’s motivation to make the move to Old Trafford.

Antony was Erik ten Hag’s top target to improve Manchester United’s right flank (AFP via Getty)

Ajax were unhappy with Antony’s conduct in the weeks leading up to his move to United but Ten Hag insisted that his former club were aware of the winger’s desire to leave.

‘Antony’s departure couldn’t have been a surprise for Ajax,’ Ten Hag told VI last month.

‘In January they already knew he would leave in the summer. We had three names on the list for the right forward position, he was already on the list at Manchester United before I arrived.’

‘Antony’s management was very clear to Ajax [in January]. They said: “In 6 months time, Antony will make a transfer”.

‘Then we started working on getting another Brazilian in to replace Antony, and Steven Bergwijn.’

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