Thursday, June 13News That Matters

Ajax chief Van der Sar admits Man Utd overpaid for Antony

Edwin van der Sar says Manchester United have a ‘potential world star’ in Antony – but revealed his former team overpaid for the winger.

Erik ten Hag made the Brazil international a top transfer target in his first summer in charge with the Red Devils seeing a number of bids turned down by Ajax.

Having already raided the Dutch giants for Lisandro Martinez, Ajax stood firm on their valuation of the 22-year-old with United getting the deal across the line for £85million, making him their most expensive signing of all time after Paul Pogba.

Antony has made an impressive impact at Old Trafford, scoring in his first three appearances for the club against Arsenal, Manchester City and Everton.

Former United goalkeeper van der Sar, who worked with ten Hag at Ajax as CEO, admits the club were eager to keep the player for another year but could not turn down the huge offer from Old Trafford.

‘Still young, still potential,’ van der Sar told The Athletic.

‘We would have liked to keep him here one year longer — there was not a dire need to sell him, we had money in the bank — but the fee got so high.

‘We challenged United to go as far as possible. They have a potential world star.’

United also paid big money to sign Martinez from Ajax, putting up £56million for the Argentine defender who has been an instant hit in the Premier League.

Arsenal were also interested in signing the defender but van der Sar revealed negotiations with the London club never got started.

‘Arsenal came earlier for Lisandro, but it was an amount where we said, ‘Thank you very much for the offer, but we’d rather keep the player than start negotiating’.

‘With United, it was a little bit different. Over the years we have had a few conversations: Daley Blind, Donny van de Beek. ‘My job is making sure I make the best decisions for Ajax.’


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