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Manchester United target Antony has gone on strike at Ajax in his attempts to secure a move away from the club. And that means he could be the next Dimitar Berbatov or Marcos Rojo. Both players stopped playing for their clubs before moving to Old Trafford and, now, the Samba star could follow in their footsteps.
Antony wants to join Manchester United this summer, with the Brazil international determined to be reunited with Ten Hag over at Old Trafford having previously played under the 52-year-old at Ajax.
What’s more, is the Red Devils want him to come. They’ve been patient in their pursuit so far, but are now starting to up the ante again as the clock ticks down.
Antony, it now seems, is doing everything to ensure the move happens.
He refused to train with Ajax team-mates on Thursday after learning of United’s latest offer, which means he’s now effectively on strike.
And he also didn’t take part in a behind-closed-doors training session on Saturday, such is his determination to make a move.
Now, Antony could become the next Berbatov and Rojo.
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Both players went on strike in order to ensure they moved to United back in the summer transfer windows of 2008 and 2014 respectively.
Back in 2008, the Red Devils wanted Berbatov with Sir Alex Ferguson refusing to be content with Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez at his disposal.
And the Bulgaria international told Tottenham chief Daniel Levy he was eager to make the move, only for the Spurs supremo to tell him he should stay.
In the end, Berbatov made things so difficult for Tottenham they had no choice but to let him move to Old Trafford.
And Levy later hit out at the forward. After Berbatov’s move to United was confirmed, the Tottenham chief said: “That’s something you’re going to have to ask him, but clearly he didn’t play for those two games.
“He didn’t play.
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“I don’t think Berbatov treated this club with the respect that we honestly deserved. We put him on the map.
“I think he’s an outstanding player, but he signed a long-term contract with this club and I think he should have stayed.
“I had so many conversations with him. He kept saying it was about his ambition to play for Manchester United. It wasn’t a money issue. We offered him a new contract and he wasn’t even interested in discussing it.
“The reality is, in modern football, the players have all the power.
“It’s not just relevant to Tottenham: if players anywhere decide as a group they are not going to play well and they want to get someone sacked then, that’s what can happen. But I don’t believe our squad made a concerted effort [to depose manager Juande Ramos].”
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Berbatov then later confirmed he did refuse to play, insisting he wasn’t in the ‘right head space’.
And then, in 2014, Rojo also went on strike.
The defender, who was strutting his stuff for Sporting Lisbon at the time, was stunned when he learned Louis van Gaal was keen to snap him up.
And Rojo, speaking just a couple of months after joining the Red Devils, admitted he stopped playing for Sporting in order to get his move.
“It was a huge surprise when I was told United wanted to buy me,” he said.
“I was in Portugal when my representative told me. He asked me to stay calm but I could not. I started living this dream.
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“I could not think of anything else. I would call him every day, but when it seemed the transfer would not happen then I refused to work with Sporting.
“That was when Veron played his part in the process. He was like a strict father to me, scolding me.”
And he added: “Veron called me one day when I had refused to train with Sporting and said: ‘Do not be stubborn. If Manchester United wants a player then they will not let you escape.’
“And so I went back – and the transfer went ahead.”
Now, Antony could be next.
United have already seen one bid for the 22-year-old turned down – but confidence is rising that the Samba star will get the move he craves by the time the transfer window slams shut next month.
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