Manchester United have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Antony.
That is according to The Mirror, who report that Ajax have moved for 19-year-old Francisco Conceicao.
The news of Conceicao’s move was later confirmed by transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, who tweeted:
“Ajax are also signing all paperworks for Francisco Conceição deal. Five year contract.”
Calvin Bassey, new Ajax player – he’s set to sign the contract today valid until June 2026 with an option for further season. It’s done deal since Saturday, to be unveiled soon. ⚪️🔴 #Ajax
Ajax are also signing all paperworks for Francisco Conceição deal. Five year contract. pic.twitter.com/sZvrEwpBsH
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 18, 2022
The Porto winger favours the right-hand side, where he can cut in onto his left foot, playing in the same role as United’s Brazilian target.
Conceicao has a release clause of £4.25m and with Ajax activating it, it appears that they are looking at life after Antony.
In getting their man, it is thought that Ajax will be more open to the Red Devils’ buying a second player from them this summer, following Lisandro Martinez’ having agreed a move.
United are believed to have wanted a double deal to sign the Argentine defender and the Brazilian winger, although the latter’s £68m price tag seemed to scupper those plans.
With Ajax having already lost Noussair Mazraoui, Ryan Gravenberch and Sebastien Haller, losing Lisandro Martinez means that they are down four key players from last season’s first eleven.
It is therefore somewhat understandable that they should want an over-the-odds offer to part with a fifth.
However, with Ajax canny operators in the transfer market, should they feel that they have adequately replaced Antony in this window, they may be more open to market-value bids for the attacker.
As far as United are concerned, they would like to add a forward in this window.
Ahead of their preseason game against Liverpool, Erik ten Hag confirmed that “in offence we are still looking for players.”
And Antony would certainly add something different, as besides rookie Amad, United do not have a single left-footed attacker in the squad.
While Jadon Sancho has put in a couple of impressive performances on the right during the club’s tour, there is still some feeling that he may prefer playing off the left.
Even if he does continue his impressive run as a right winger, he would still be the only senior option on that side, with Marcus Rashford more or less tied to the left flank, and United lacking options in general.
As United look to attack with multiple “weapons” under Ten Hag, Antony is certainly one they would like to add at the right price.