MANCHESTER UNITED target Antony was reportedly forced to train alone at Ajax, with the Dutch champions said to have resisted a bid of £67.5million.
But it is often the case that a player nearing a move does not take part in competitive training, in case they get injured and scupper any looming deal.
Manager Erik ten Hag moved from Ajax this summer and has already gone back to sign Argentine defender Lisandro Martinez for £56.7m.
And Tan Hag is keen to make Brazil winger Antony next in line, with the Daily Mail reporting he may be left out of the squad for Sunday’s clash with Sparta Rotterdam.
United are also eyeing another winger from the Eredivisie, in PSV’s Cody Gakpo.
Former Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson was at Ibrox to spy on the player in PSV’s clash with Rangers on Tuesday.
Ten Hag’s reign has started in disastrous fashion, losing their first two Prem games, and with star player Cristiano Ronaldo making it clear he wants out of the crisis club.
United have already moved to strengthen their powderpuff midfield with a megabucks deal for Real Madrid star Casemiro.
But they desperately needed reinforcements in time for Monday’s clash with bitter rivals Liverpool in the Premier League and Casemiro was not registered in time.
The club have been chasing Dutch star Frenkie de Jong all summer, with Chelsea also strongly in the hunt.
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United fans have long complained that the ‘McFred’ midfield duo of Fred and Scott McTominay is not good enough to restore the club to its former glories.
But with Casemiro, and at least one of Antony or Gakpo on board, it could the boost the club so badly need.
But, for now, Ten hag must struggle on with his confidence-shot squad ahead of Monday’s showdown with Liverpool.