Ajax teen star Matthijs de Ligt looks as if he won’t, after all, make the switch to play for Premier League champions Manchester City. Boss Pep Guardiola is said to have denied having an interest in acquiring the central defender’s services and is happy with his rearguard options.
But Ajax supporters shouldn’t get too overly excited about the prospect of De Ligt staying in the Dutch capital. For now, Champions League qualifiers Tottenham Hotspur have emerged as a club keen to recruit the 17-year-old starlet.
And someone in a position of power with the Sons of the Gods would appear to think that the talented teenager is on his way out of the club with the news that a replacement is already being lined up to come in ahead of the new campaign.
Reports coming out of Holland suggest that the club are not far off concluding a deal to bring centre-back Lisandro Magallán from Boca Juniors in a deal said to be worth around £7million. If there is veracity to this tale, it would see a handsome return on the young De Ligt, with the White Hart Lane outfit reportedly ready to splash upwards of £45million on their target.
The transfer speculation comes amid Barcelona looking to make a move for midfielder Frenkie de Jong. who is aged 21, but being told, reportedly, that he isn’t for sale. The player is said to be keen on staying with Ajax for another season at least to help develop his game. The Catalan giants are used to getting what they want, however, and may prove too stubborn to take “no” for an answer. And an improved bid of more than £40million could ease a deal through.
Meanwhile, Ajax still harbour hopes of recruiting Serbian internationalist Dusan Tadic from Premier League outfit Southampton. With Hakim Ziyech said to be on his way out, the industrious Tadic is seen as an ideal replacement.
Before moving to Southampton, Tadic, who is 29, starred for both FC Groningen and FC Twente so is no stranger to the Eredivisie. But with the Saints retaining their top-flight status, he may well be tempted to stay and fight for the cause for another season before starting to think about a move back to Holland.
As for Ziyech, Liverpool could well be a destination for the gifted playmaker once his deeds are done for the Morocco national team at this summer’s FIFA World Cup. He became a red-hot favourite among Liverpool fans to replace Nabil Fekir after his £53million move to Anfield collapsed, with Lyon refusing to sanction the switch (who knows, this deal may well be revived when the unknown hitch is iron out, but for the time being it’s a no-go situation).
Moroccan attacker Ziyech, 25, managed to find the net 11 times and chipped in with and 15 assists in an impressive season for Ajax last time of asking. It looks increasingly likely he will leave the club before too long.