Ajax sporting director Gerry Hamstra has spotted Manchester United’s timing in the pursuit and eventual signing Antony, however, admitted their enormous offer was too good to turn down.
The Red Devils had turned down two offers for the Brazilian before finally getting their man for a fee that could rise to around £86million.
It’s the highest sum a Dutch club has ever received for a player and an incredible sum for a 22-year-old who has never played in one of Europe’s biggest leagues.
However, it was too much money for Ajax to turn down, despite the club not wanting to lose any more players after a summer of upheaval.
Not only manager Erik ten Hag left for Old Trafford and took Lisandro Martinez with him, but also stars like Ryan Gravenberch, Sebastien Heller, Nicolas Tagliafico and Noussair Mazraoui.
Hamstra was very frustrated that Ajax lost Antony just before the transfer window closed and criticized United’s timing to finally meet the asking price for the forward.
“Manchester United’s timing was so bad,” Hamstra told De Telegraaf. ‘The last few days [of the window] Things got even more hectic after Ajax had already undergone a major squad reshuffle following the departure of many top-flight players.
“It was so difficult to leave our manager with such a gap. We all think we’ve lost too many first-team players who are always in the starting XI. We had a summer with completely different expectations.
“We wanted to keep the group together as much as possible to be able to perform well Champions League and continue to be successful.
“We talked to Alfred about that [Schreuder]. Of course, we knew there were a few snags.
“But no one foresaw that our players would be bought for so much money.”
Antony’s late departure didn’t give Ajax long to replace him even though they loaned Lucas Ocampos from Sevilla.
The loss of players has yet to do them any harm on the field, with five wins from five in the Eredivisie so far ahead of the start of their Champions League campaign at home to Rangers on Wednesday.
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