Chelsea scouted Antony transfer: 'but we couldn't get him'

 Chelsea scout on Antony transfer: 'we couldn't get him'

Chelsea scouted Antony transfer: 'but we couldn't get him'

Chelsea had an interest in Antony long before he completed a €100 million transfer from Ajax to Manchester United this summer.

Brazil winger Antony is already off the mark at Old Trafford, scoring the first of United's goals in their 3-1 win over Arsenal a week last Sunday, in what was his Red Devils debut.

Antony and Lisandro Martinez have been reunited with their former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag this summer, and it already seems unimaginable that they might have been plying their trade somewhere else.

But Chelsea had been keeping tabs on the 22-year-old Antony for a long time.

"Together with [former Ajax head scout] Hans van der Zee we saw him for the first time in Brazil's youth ranks and we were both charmed by him," Chelsea scout Piet de Visser told Voetbal Nieuws podcast The King of Manchester.

'Planned to sign him from Ajax'

"That was a few years ago, just before he went to Ajax. I thought he had to make an intermediate step and then Hans suggested Ajax. And then we would take him right from Ajax."

Of course, that's not what happened. After 22 goals and 22 assists in all compe

titions across two seasons, and a Dutch domestic double in 2021, it was no longer possible to keep Antony quite so under the radar. When left the Johan Cruyff Arena for United in May, Chelsea's chances died.

"We couldn't get him," de Visser explained. "I would have wanted him. He's a boy with poison in his backside. He sometimes crosses the line, but he comes from the favela, doesn't he?"

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