Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag has long since sought a reunion with the Brazilian star at Old Trafford, having worked closely with him during his time in charge in Amsterdam.
The Antony saga rather cooled off after heated daily speculation earlier in the window, with Ajax keen to retain the services of a highly-prized asset.
However, United’s pursuit has dramatically intensified once again in recent days as they target more high-profile additions before the September 1 deadline following the £70million arrival of Antony’s Brazil team-mate Casemiro from Real Madrid, to follow earlier deals for Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and another former Ajax favourite in Lisandro Martinez.
The Eredivisie giants have yet to change their stance on the 22-year-old, however, with a €90million (£76.3m) bid reportedly rejected on Friday evening.
That latest failed United offer has led Antony to go public with his desire to leave Ajax. In an exclusive interview with transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano on YouTube, he claimed that he had made the club aware of that wish to leave and seek a new challenge in February and reiterated it this summer, stating again that he wanted to leave after receiving a new contract offer.
Antony, who moved to the Netherlands from Sao Paulo in a £13m deal in January 2020, went on to say that he had repeated his exit wish in a meeting with Ajax on Friday, only to be told that there was not enough time left in the window for the club to source an adequate replacement.
“I’m not asking Ajax to release me, I’m asking Ajax to sell me with the highest bid ever for an Eredivisie player,” he continued. “I’ve been insisting on this theme since February so that the club could rebuild the team with peace of mind.
“I was very happy in Amsterdam, I won titles at Ajax, made friends and built part of my career, but now I reinforce that I am ready and full of motivation to follow my story and my dreams.
“People need to listen to me and understand that my motivation moves me towards happiness. I need this to continue performing at a high level. Ajax will always be in my heart.”