Manchester United have completed the signing of Brazil winger Antony from Ajax Amsterdam, the Premier League club said in a statement on Thursday.
The 22-year-old, who joins for a reported initial fee of 80.75 million pounds ($93.65 million) and who played under United manager Erik ten Hag at Ajax, signed a five-year contract with the option of an additional year, United said.
“This is an incredible moment in my career to be joining one of the most iconic clubs in the world,” Antony told the club’s website.
“Playing under Erik ten Hag was perfect for me and my development,” Antony added. “His style of football and coaching brings out the best in me...”
“My time at Ajax was fantastic ... 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.”
The 22-year-old Antony, a skilful and quick left-footed attacker, has spent just two full seasons at Ajax but appears to have done enough to convince United to make him its second most expensive signing after Paul Pogba in 2016.
He will be the fourth costliest player to join an English team, after Jack Grealish to Manchester City, Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea, and Pogba.
The impending arrival of Antony, who is likely to be part of Brazil's squad at the World Cup in Qatar, sees United again look to the Dutch league in its latest rebuild.
First, Erik ten Hag left Ajax to join as manager and he has brought Martinez — the Argentina center back arrived for nearly $58 million — and now Antony with him from the Amsterdam club. Tyrell Malacia was signed from Feyenoord and Christian Eriksen, a former Ajax player, has joined on a free transfer.
United also signed Brazil midfielder Casemiro from Real Madrid last week in a spending splurge in the final days of the transfer window by a club whose ownership, the Glazer family, is in the eye of a storm. Fans have been protesting about the direction of the club under the Glazers after almost a decade of underachievement, disgruntlement that became more pronounced after United lost its first two games of the season in the Premier League.
With his tricks and skills, Antony will bring some flair to United while also adding more competition to the wide positions, where Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Elanga are vying for spots.
It also adds to the uncertainty surrounding another forward at United, Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been pushing to leave for a club playing in the Champions League.
United will reportedly pay Ajax a further 5 million euros ($5 million) in potential add-ons for Antony, who complained last week in an interview with Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano that the Dutch champions were not allowing him to leave.
(With inputs from Reuters)