World Cup or not, Ajax starlet De Jong is off

For the supporters of a selling club, the FIFA World Cup can be a nightmare. For the fans of a club welcoming a bright, new talent to their team, it’s the complete opposite.

Every club who have promising players at this summer’s FIFA World Cup do two things, among others, when watching the games on TV; one is that they bite their nails in fear of the prodigious player falling foul of a bad tackle, or simply over-extending themselves and picking up an injury that puts paid to the season ahead following the tournament. Apart from watching the games and as we all know the World Cup starts in the next couple of days you could also use the opportunity for a spot of online betting at maxfreebets.

The other is that they wish their player well, but not too well, sometimes. This is because if he excels then a clutch of bigger clubs with bigger budgets will soon be circling, hoping to cherry-pick the talent and leave the supporter with a weaker team to cheer.

With Holland not in Russia after disappointingly falling to qualify, Ajax don’t have the latter issue when it comes to a crop of their starlets. You’ll not need reminding that Holland missed out on the FIFA World Cup despite beating the Swedes 2-0 at the Ajax’s home ground, the Amsterdam Arena, with Arjen Robben setting twice. The two nations finished equal with 19 points behind Group A winners France. Sweden claimed second place on goal difference.

But that hasn’t stopped Barcelona eyeing up one hot prospect in particular, a certain Frenkie de Jong, a central midfielder with a big future ahead of him without any doubt.

Reports that are alarming for Ajax followers suggest the Catalans are ready and waiting with a bid of around £30million for the Dutch U21 star, who has made 37 appearances for the Sons of the Gods. The move is close, with the two parties said to be heading for a meeting early this week to finalise a deal.

Barca are said to be ready to be so swift to fend of interest from a number of Premier League big guns with a desire to land the versatile youngster, who can also play in the heart of the back four.

De Jong was recruited from the youth academy of Willem II in 2015. Now, just three years later, his time at the club could be very limited indeed.

Another star set to leave Ajax is attacker Justin Kluivert, who it would seem is poised to switch to Italian giants Roma for £16million.

And this is despite advice from his dad, Patrick, who said: “I said to him maybe it’s better to stay one more year at Ajax, to make some kilometres to be important for the team.

“He’s 19. He’s still young but he makes his own decisions, and as a dad, I have to stand behind the decisions that he makes. It looks like he’s going to leave Ajax. I think it’s 90 per cent sure he’s going.

“If he’s got the feeling to leave then he’s got to do that, but he needs to know what things are coming on his way. It will be difficult because if you’re 19 and you’re going to another country, it’s not easy.”