Manchester United have completed the signing of Antony from Ajax in a deal initially worth €95m (£82m), the forward describing it as an “incredible moment” after agreeing a five-year contract with the option of 12 further months.
United’s other arrival on deadline day was Martin Dubravka, who joined on a season’s loan from Newcastle to become Erik ten Hag’s sixth summer addition. The goalkeeper will join Tom Heaton in providing competition for David de Gea. United have paid a £2m loan fee and are obliged to buy Dubravka for £6m if he starts a certain number of Premier League games.
Antony’s acquisition made the 22-year-old Brazilian the club’s second-highest transfer, the fee rising an additional €5m with add-ons. He is expected to be in the squad for Sunday’s game at home to Arsenal.
Antony said: “This is an incredible moment in my career to be joining one of the most iconic clubs in the world. I’m thankful to everyone who has believed in me, especially my family, and all my coaches and teammates, because I could not have got here without them.
“Playing under Erik ten Hag at Ajax was perfect for me and my development. His style of football and coaching brings out the best in me, and I am excited by what he has told me about his plans and ambitions in Manchester.
“My time at Ajax was fantastic and I will always be grateful for the trust they put in me, but now I am ready for the next challenge, and I can’t wait to join my new teammates and play my part in bringing success to Manchester United.”
Antony scored 31 goals and recorded 27 assists in 134 appearances for Ajax and São Paulo and has two goals and two assists in nine Brazil appearances. He won a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics and two Eredivisie titles with Ajax.
United’s football director, John Murtough, said: “Antony is one of the most exciting young talents in European football and has exactly the right profile for the attacking, dynamic team Erik is building. We have been especially impressed by his desire to join Manchester United, and to be part of a long-term project to get the club back to the levels of performance we all expect.”
It is understood Antony was on United’s list of prospective signings before Ten Hag was named as the incoming manager in late April.
Dubravka will be available for the Arsenal game only if registered in time. The 33-year-old has 29 Slovakia caps and has made more than 125 Premier League appearances.
He said: “To be joining Manchester United is a special moment in my career and I can’t wait to get started and help the group achieve its ambitions. I am joining an excellent group of goalkeepers with lots of experience in the Premier League, and I know that we will push and support each other to keep our standards at the highest levels. The chance to work with David de Gea, alongside Tom Heaton, is one that I am relishing.”
On Thursday night it was confirmed that James Garner had signed for Everton on a four-year deal.