Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag has been asked to decide his future ahead of the new campaign so the club’s money men can weigh up their options in terms of incoming and outgoing players.
The Sons of the Gods have already lost the services of Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech after he penned a deal to join Chelsea in the summer for a fee said to be in the region of £40million. The cash splashed out by the Stamford Bridge outfit will be diverted directly into a transfer budget — but the club’s hierarchy want to know if it will be Ten Hag who is spending it next term.
The finances at every football club will come under pressure amid the current coronavirus crisis with many revenue streams running dry following the suspension of matches across the globe.
It comes in the wake of the huge interest from Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur for Ajax’s Argentinian left-back Nicolás Tagliafico and with Spanish giants Real Madrid ready to land hugely talented Donny van de Beek. The sale of the duo would bring in significant funds to the Amsterdam club and, again, the board of directors want to know to whom they will be entrusting the cash.
Ten Hag has been the subject of a whirlwind of speculation surrounding his future with a return to one of the Bundesliga powerhouses said to be a very real option. He knows the German game inside out from his time as head coach at Bayern Munich’s second string. And Bayern have been linked with a move for him.
A year ago, he was adamant that his heart was with Ajax and he would be staying put. He said:
“I can confirm to you that I will stay with Ajax. I have a strong bond with my team and everyone at Ajax, so I finish the season at Ajax. Bayern is a beautiful club, I really did have a rather fantastic time there, the club is in my heart, that is true, but my focus is entirely on Ajax. Whether they have contacted, I will not simply comment on that.”
But a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. If Ten Hag does stay at Ajax he will have to contend with more speculation surrounding another star player in the shape of wingman Quincy Promes. If he is seen to be available there would be no shortage of potential suitors for the 27-year-old’s considerable talents. And the former Sevilla ace is open to a move to the Premier League. After Ajax’s incredible 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea in the Champions league last November, when quizzed on a move to England, he said:
“To me, if I have a chance, maybe in the future.”