Together with the Morocco global set to change Amsterdam for London, the Dutch champions have moved to secure a decent replacement.
Ajax have announced the signing of Antony Matheus dos Santos, better known as Antony, with the Sao Paulo starlet place to replace Chelsea-bound Hakim Ziyech on the wing when the Moroccan joins up with the Stamford Bridge side on July 1.
A Brazil Under-23 international, despite being just 19 years old, Antony put pen to paper on a five-season deal which will see the attacker connected to the Amsterdam club before June 30, 2025.
An initial transfer fee of $15.75 million (#13m$17m) will be paid to Sao Paulo, with this amount possibly rising to $21.75m (#18m/$24m) determined by various athletic standards.
Ajax are reported to have beaten Borussia Dortmund, amongst others, to the child’s signature.
Director of football affairs Marc Overmars was excited in getting a bargain over the line, telling the club’s official site: “We’ll have to be patient for a couple more months before Antony can begin here, but with him we’re getting a creative player who will play every position upfront.
“It’s been well established that a few of our players will be leaving this summer and we had to plan for this, so it is great that we have been able to finalise this move.”
Having come through the youth ranks at his boyhood club, Antony boasts a striking record of five goals in nine matches for the U23 Brazil side and will be expected to fill the gap left by $40m (#33m/$43m) Ziyech, who’s set to join with his new team-mates in London during the summer.
Talking on his team-mate’s impending exit, Donny van de Beek considers Ziyech is leaving the club at the ideal time, which Chelsea is the correct spot for the 26-year-old to keep his remarkable improvement.
“He is a fantastic football player, so I’m confident that he’ll do well,” Van de Beek informed Voetbal Primeur.
“I think it’s a really great club with plenty of young players that could grow. I think Hakim will surely be in the ideal location. Everyone, of course, has their opinion about that, but I think it is a wonderful club .”
Van de Beek himself has been linked with a move overseas in the summer season, using Real Madrid mooted as a possible destination, while goalkeeper Andre Onana is also believed to have a sizeable list of possible suitors.