transfer target Antony was absent from ’s first training session of the summer amid speculation he is intent on completing a move to Old Trafford during the transfer window.
Erik ten Hag’s rebuilding job has got off to a slow start with the Premier League giants thus far unable to add to a squad which drastically underperformed last term.
United finished with their lowest ever points tally and ended up a distant sixth, missing out on qualification.
The club has confirmed the departures of Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata, but moves for Ten Hag’s key targets, including the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Jurrien Timber, have stalled.
The Red Devils hope to step up their recruitment drive this week with a deal for Antony also regarded a priority.
United have already made an approach to Ajax about the 22-year-old but the Dutch champions have made it clear that they want a fee in excess of €70m (£60m).
Antony is understood to be pushing to join United but Ajax are ready to stand firm and have made it clear they want no more high-profile departures having already lost Ryan Gravenberch to Bayern Munich.
Sebastien Haller, who also missed training yesterday, is on the verge of joining Borussia Dortmund, while Arsenal are set to make a renewed push to sign defender Lisandro Martinez having seen an opening £30m offer rejected.
Ajax are yet to explain the youngsters absence but he was not part of Brazil’s squad during the summer and was not reported to have been given an extended summer break by his club.
After taking charge of his first training session as Ajax boss, Alfred Schreuder was asked about his predecessor’s interest in some of his players.
He said: ‘Erik knows that he should not buy players from Ajax. I’m kidding. You never know in football.
‘But it is not important to me to talk about Erik or United. We have to talk about Ajax and we know that we are a very big and strong club.’
Schreuder is confident Timber will stay at Ajax but was less resolute about the future of Antony.
Asked about the speculation surrounding Timber, the new Ajax boss said: ‘I hope that is settled.
‘I think this boy is very smart. He knows very well what is good for himself to develop. And I think he is not finished at Ajax.
‘As I spoke to him, he knows very well what he is doing And if you also see him play in the Dutch national team and play at Ajax: that makes you happy.
‘I hope he will stay and I assume that.’
On Antony, Schreuder added: ‘Clearly we want to keep that boy. He has a contract until 2025.
‘But I’m not about that. I’m about the line-up. And I really want to work with him, he knows that and the club knows that too.’
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