Ajax have all but come to terms with the loss of the supremely talented Frenkie de Jong who is joining Spanish giants Barcelona this summer and they are ready to contemplate the departure of Matthijs de Ligt, who has attracted a host of big clubs desperate to land his services. Now, surely that aren’t about to lose Donny van de Beek as well? Well, sadly for the Sons of the Gods fans and management, it appears that this may very well be the case.
Midfielder Van de Beek, who came on as a second-half sub as Holland lost to host Portugal 1-0 last night in the Uefa Nations League final in Porto, turned in some dazzling displays for Ajax as they claimed the Eredivisie title. And his wonderful performances have, seemingly, attracted lots of interest from suitors all over Europe.
Barcelona are keen, apparently. And European champions Liverpool and Premier League giants Arsenal are but two of the English clubs said to be in the running for the middle-of-the-park maestro, who would cost in the region of £50million. Ajax, of course, are hugely keen to keep the schemer and are putting together a new, improved contract to try to retain his services. The player’s dad, Andre, says it would take an extra special club to lure his son away from the Amsterdam outfit. He said:
“It would have to be a very good club for him to want to trade Ajax for. He would prefer to win many more trophies with Ajax.”
Rather predictably (and who can blame him?) the player says he flattered by interest from the Nou Camp powerhouse. He said:
“I have a contract with Ajax but it’s nice that my name is associated with Barca, I have to play better, better and better and we’ll see in the future, you never know what can happen.”
One team-mate of Van de Beek, Dusan Tadic, says he isn’t too surprised that the big boys are circling in readiness to pounce for the string-puller. The former Southampton ace said:
“Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong and Donny van de Beek have made an enormous amount of progress, but Donny has surprised me the most. He started to live even more for football. Donny likes to listen to the older players, has started to pay more attention to his diet and to train harder in the gym. If you saw it at the start of the season and see it now, that’s a world of difference. It’s magnificent.”
Meanwhile, Ajax technical director Marc Overmars has confirmed that the club are working on the new deals for both Van de Beek and coach Erik ten Hag, the latter of whom is said to be in the running for the Chelsea job if Maurizio Sarri quits. Former Arsenal winger Overmars said:
“Van de Beek has developed a lot as a footballer and he has to be repaid. We don’t want to lose him.”