Ajax have held talks with Chelsea playmaker Hakim Ziyech, 90min understands, as they prepare to replace Antony, whose representatives are in direct contact with Manchester United.
The Dutch giants are bracing themselves for United to return with an improved offer for Antony – having turned down a second bid of £67.6m last week – and are looking to receive a club-record fee just shy of £80m.
22-year-old Antony is desperate to reunite with former manager Erik ten Hag at United – he refused to attend training twice last week and was then left out of Alfred Schreuder’s squad for the weekend win at Sparta Rotterdam – and has been left frustrated by Ajax’s stance over a sale.
90min understands that the Eredivisie champions are expecting to receive a new offer, and sources have confirmed that United are already in talks with Antony and his representatives over a prospective move – and there’s a belief that terms will be relatively easy to agree.
Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey,Toby Cudworth and Harry Symeou bring you Talking Transfers, discussing Antony attempting to push through a move to Man Utd, Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubayemang’s futures at Barcelona and Arsenal’s interest in Pedro Neto. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.
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90min revealed over the weekend that Ajax had already started planning for life after Antony, and were exploring a potential move for former player Hakim Ziyech, and sources have confirmed that talks have taken place over a return to Amsterdam.
Chelsea made it clear to Ziyech earlier this summer that he was surplus to requirements under Thomas Tuchel and the Moroccan was on the radar of Serie A champions AC Milan. But a move back to Ajax is now firmly on the cards for Ziyech, and it’s understood that he met with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, now part of Ajax’s technical staff, to discuss a prospective return on loan.
Ziyech previously made 165 appearances for Ajax in all competitions between 2016 and 2020, scoring 49 goals, and was affectionately known by the club’s supporters as ‘The Wizard’ – a nod to his creativity, passing range and vision.