Ajax fight it out with Bayern to capture Samba ace Pepe

Ajax are ready to make a summer swoop for Brazilian striker Pepe, according to reports. But the Sons of the Gods have a rival for the services of the winger, currently plying his trade with Brazilian Serie A outfit Gremio.

The Ajax target, who is aged 23, hit nine goals in 37 outings last season and has been on the club’s wish-list for more than a year, apparently.

Reporter Andre Hernán broke the story about Ajax leading the chase and has now updated it to claim Bayern are in the frame. He said:

“Ajax is getting competition from Bayern, who have already asked about Pepe. As soon as the transfer window opens, these two clubs will make an offer.”

The report comes as Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag, already robbed of the chance to retain the Eredivisie title any time soon, has suffered another blow as he tried to keep his squad in shape for when, or if, the season is back under way once more.

That’s because the Sons of the Gods have decided that they should, quite rightly of course, follows the guidelines set down by government in terms of association — and this means that there can be no training sessions for the Ajax players.

The club have informed fans using their official website where an announcement told visitors:

“The government announced sharper measures to restrain the spreading of the corona virus. Several of these measures affect football. Ajax will follow the instructions.

“At a press conference, it was made clear that Dutch football will be shut down until April 6th, instead of March 31st.  It was also announced that all sports clubs in the Netherlands must close. This includes training facilities and professional football stadiums.”

The message continued to tell supporters that in addition, the club has been advised to avoid collective training. That means that the Ajax first team and the reserves will follow these instructions and

“there will be no team trainings for the time being”.

The youth academy will be closed for the time being.

Eric Gudde, the KNVB director of professional football, spoke to the press after the suspension of Dutch football that followed the government’s decision to cancel all events throughout the Netherlands involving more than a hundred people.

He said:

“We have always followed Dutch government policy when urged to do so, and that is no different at the moment. Of course, health and safety are a top priority for all parties involved. However, these measures also bring with them major organisational, financial and sports-related challenges for the football world. In the future, the football sector will have to call on the government authorities for help in order to be able to meet the organisational issues, social effects and economic challenges for the whole sector. We will be happy to discuss this with all parties in due course.”