Dusan Tadic has admitted making the switch from Southampton to Ajax is a dream move, describing his new club as one of the biggest outfits in the world.
Tadic, who played as Serbia exited the FIFA World Cup with a 2-0 defeat to Brazil on Wednesday, has penned a four-year deal with the Amsterdam giants for a fee that could rise to £11.4million.
The winger has quit Premier League Saints following a four-year stint at St Mary’s Stadium where he hit 23 goals in 162 appearances. But he insists the lure of Ajax proved too great to turn down despite his relative success in the top flight of English football.
He said: “I’m very happy because Ajax is one of the biggest clubs in Holland and the world. It was always my dream to be at Ajax. It was an easy decision because I had a lot of opportunities in the Premier League and other countries but I think Ajax is best for my future.
“I did good in the Premier League. In four years, I was for three of them in the top five best assisters in the Premier League and probably in the top ten of creating chances. I’m very proud because Southampton is not the biggest club in the Premier League and the Premier League is the toughest league in the world.
“I showed that I can play there at high level. I had beautiful years with Southampton — great club, great people, great supporters — and I’m very proud of my four years.”
On his departure, Tadic said he left with the best wishes of boss Mark Hughes. And he has forecast that the Saints will be in good hands with Hughes and his back-room staff. He added: “I’m sure that Mark Hughes, with his assistants Eddie Niedzwiecki and Mark Bowen, will do great for Southampton.”
Ajax will soon be preparing for their tie with Austrian outfit Sturm Graz in the Champions League qualifying stages. The match against will be played on July 25 in the Amsterdam Arena, with the return clash in Austria on August 1. The winner of these two matches goes into the qualifying Champions League round.
Meanwhile, it is being reported that one player who could well be on his way out of the club is Frenkie de Jong. Spanish giants Barcelona are waiting in the wings with a bumper bid lined up, with some reports suggesting it could be as much as £50million.
Dutch U21 ace De Jong, who is aged 21. is said to be keen to make the move to the Nou Camp but the two clubs may well agree that he should stay with his parent club for another season to allow him to develop further. As a midfielder, he has proved to be a star player since elevating himself from the youth system to the first team ranks.