Antony became the fourth most expensive signing in Premier League history on Thursday as Manchester United finalised the transfer from Ajax for a rumoured sum of 95 million euros (£81.3 million).
The Brazilian international forward, 22, has agreed to a deal that runs through 2027 with an additional year's option. The cost includes prospective add-ons worth up to five million euros. Antony said in a statement posted on Manchester United's website that "this is an incredible moment in my career to be joining one of the most legendary clubs in the world."
His transfer fee broke the previous Eredivisie player record of 86 million euros set by Frenkie de Jong's switch from Ajax to Barcelona three years prior. Ironically de Jong had been United’s main transfer target for this season but they failed to secure him. Antony has scored 31 goals in 134 club appearances for Ajax and Sao Paulo, and two goals in nine senior appearances for Brazil.
By moving to Old Trafford, he will be reunited with former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag, who has already brought defender Lisandro Martinez to United from the Dutch giants. “Playing under Erik ten Hag at Ajax was perfect for me and my development,” said Antony. “His style of football and coaching brings out the best in me, and I am excited by what he has told me about his plans and ambitions in Manchester.
“My time at Ajax was fantastic and I will always be grateful for the trust they put in me, but now I am ready for the next challenge, and I can’t wait to join my new team-mates and play my part in bringing success to Manchester United.”
John Murtough, Manchester United Football Director, said Antony’s desire to play for the club despite missing out on Champions League football this season had impressed him. “Antony is one of the most exciting young talents in European football and has exactly the right profile for the attacking, dynamic team Erik is building,” he said.
Antony joins Martinez, Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and fellow Brazilian Casemiro as ten Hag’s new recruits since he took over. Veteran goalkeeper Martin Dubravka is expected to join as well from Newcastle United as back-up to David de Gea.
United have recovered from a dire start to the Premier League campaign and bid to win their third successive match later on Thursday against out-of-form Leicester.