Manchester United and Antony Matheus dos Santos have agreed to freeze the relationship. After three women denounced the player for abuse last week, the club and the Brazilian have decided to take some time to fully reestablish the working relationship. Antony, according to a statement from the club, will have an indefinite amount of time to address his legal problems. There is no deadline for returning to training.
“Manchester United recognizes that there are allegations against Antony,” reads the club’s announcement. “The players who have not participated in international matches are scheduled to return to training this Monday. “Anyway, we have agreed with Antony that he will delay his return until further notice so that he can deal with the accusations.”
“As a club we condemn any act of violence and abuse,” the statement concluded. “We recognize the importance of safeguarding all those involved in these situations and understand the impact these allegations have on survivors of abuse.”
The decision was signed by CEO Richard Arnold after a conversation with coach Erik ten Hag. The Dutch coach was the first supporter of the signing of Antony, with whom he coincided at Ajax. The English club paid a transfer of £85 million in the summer of 2022, something that makes Antony the most expensive player in the current squad.
Antony, 23, was denounced by three separate women, including his ex-girlfriend, the DJ and influencer Gabriela Cavallin. The public accusations and the subsequent police investigation caused the Brazilian federation to force him to leave the concentration, where he was to play qualifying matches for the 2026 World Cup, on September 5.
Cavallin accused Antony of hitting her in the head and chest in a Manchester hotel on January 15. The woman claims that the attack resulted in injuries that required medical attention. “My relationship with Miss Gabriela was tumultuous, with verbal offenses on the part of both, but there was never any physical aggression,” the footballer declared in a statement. “I trust that the police investigation will prove the truth about my innocence.”
Cavallin reported Antony at the Women’s Defense police station in Tatuapé, a district of San Pablo. According to the UOL portal, the woman declared that the player “closed the door” preventing her from leaving it, stole her passport, threw balls and mobile phones at her and threatened to commit suicide. “He said he was going to kill me,” she noted.
Two other alleged victims, Ingrid Lana and Rayssa de Freitas, also accused the soccer player of sexist attacks. Lana refers to events that occurred in Manchester in 2022. “She tried to have a relationship with me and I didn’t want it,” she declared. “She pushed me against the wall and I hit my head.” De Freitas filed a complaint against Antony with the Public Security Secretariat of the State of São Paulo, after suffering an attack in São Paulo, in May 2022.
“I hope to return”
ESPN reported that the player, the subject of a police investigation in England and Brazil, will continue to receive his salary. Antony also released a statement this Sunday, reporting that the decision to delay his return to training was agreed with the club. “I want to reiterate my innocence of all the things I have been accused of,” he said, “and I will cooperate with the police to help them reach the truth. I hope to play again as soon as possible.”
Manchester United knows what it’s like to get rid of a player due to an abuse complaint. In January 2022, following a complaint made by his girlfriend to the local police, Mason Greenwood, the team’s young promise, was arrested and remained under judicial surveillance. The girlfriend provided evidence of an alleged rape recorded on her mobile phone. The Justice did not conclude that a crime existed. The club, however, ended up telling Greenwood that he would not wear the red shirt again. This summer he loaned him to Getafe. He occupied the right wing, the position in which Antony replaced him.
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