Brazilian star, Antony will stay away from Manchester United until further notice as the footballer continues to face allegations of domestic abuse, the club have announced.
The 23-year-old winger was placed on a leave of absence on full pay to give him time to defend himself against the claims made by three women.
But sources say that United’s move reflects the seriousness with which the club are viewing the situation and will continue to review it.
It read: ‘Manchester United acknowledges the allegations made against Antony. Players who have not participated in international matches are due back in training on Monday.
‘However, it has been agreed with Antony that he will delay his return until further notice in order to address the allegations.
‘As a club, we condemn acts of violence and abuse. We recognise the importance of safeguarding all those involved in this situation, and acknowledge the impact these allegations have on survivors of abuse.’
Antony has not been arrested but police in Manchester and Sao Paulo are investigating the claims made against him.
The former Ajax player denies any wrongdoing and gave a tearful interview on Brazilian television on Friday night protesting his innocence.
He also issued a new statement on Sunday, saying: ‘I have agreed with Manchester United to take a period of absence while I address the allegations made against me.
This was a mutual decision to avoid distraction to my teammates and unnecessary controversy for the club.
‘I want to reiterate my innocence of the things I have been accused of, and I will fully cooperate with the police to help them reach the truth. I look forward to returning to play as soon as possible.’
Antony’s ex-girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin has accused him of assaulting her on four occasions. Two more women, law student Rayssa de Freitas and banker Ingrid Lana, have come forward in his native Brazil to make similar claims of aggressive behaviour.