Ajax director Edwin Van der Sar can see the writing on the wall for an Arsenal and Leeds Utd target, though a third suitor look to have stolen a march in negotiations.
The Amsterdam club have forever been a hotbed for player development. Ajax have produced or help nurture some of the world’s finest footballers, though resisting approaches from richer clubs overseas has always proved difficult.
The latest player to see his stock soar at Ajax is Moroccan right-back, Noussair Mazraoui.
The 22-year-old is known for his deadly raids down the right flank and has notched four goals and two assists in the Eredivisie so far this season.
But with a contract expiring at the end of the season, he could be on the move in 2022. The prospect of signing him on a free transfer will be appealing to many.
Leeds have been tipped to take advantage. Mazraoui would provide tougher and more natural competition for Luke Ayling than makeshift options like Stuart Dallas and Jamie Shackleton.
Arsenal are also admirers, despite already strengthening the right-back berth with Takehiro Tomiyasu in the summer. Mazraoui could provide them with another option of different characteristics.
Agent confirms Mazraoui will leave Ajax
His agent is Mino Raiola who recently suggested Mazraoui’s time in the Netherlands will soon conclude.
Now, Ajax director Edwin Van der Sar has shed further light on Mazraoui’s situation.
The former Manchester United goalkeeper spoke to Dutch outlet Het Parool about the possibility of losing both Mazraoui and goalkeeper Andre Onana. Onana is expected to join Inter Milan as a free agent next summer.
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“If [free agent exits] becomes a fashion it’s a threat to Ajax,” bemoaned Van der Sar (via SPORT)
“We want to win and become champions and go as far as possible in Europe. You need the best players for that. That’s the short term, you need to protect the club in the long term too.
“We’ve lost months in negotiations,” added Van der Sar. “We’d like to keep [Mazraoui] but now it’s the middle of December so you know where it’s going.”
While Leeds and Arsenal are in the mix, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has revealed Barcelona are clouding the issue.
Romano tweeted Barcelona ‘asked’ Raiola about Mazraoui, before confirming that ‘three’ clubs are interested.
Juventus eye Aubameyang, but fear he’s too limited
Meanwhile, a report in Italy claims Arsenal are open to selling Pierre Emerick Aubameyang in January, with Juventus now in the race for his signature.
Gazzetta Dello Sport, via Sport Witness, state the Old Lady are ‘chasing a centre forward’ next month and are currently playing a ‘three card game’ to find one.
Aubameyang is one target, while Manchester United’s Anthony Martial and Sassuolo forward Gianluca Scamacca complete the trio.
Despite the links to Turin, it appears as though Juve may be having second thoughts about the Gunners hitman.
The report adds that the Serie A giants are not sure that he fits the ‘football curriculum’ at the club. That is because they need a player who is more than just a ‘penalty area striker’.