Arsenal, Leeds on red alert after Ajax star reveals it’s time for ‘something new’
Arsenal and Leeds have been put on red alert after transfer target Noussair Mazraoui revealed his desire to leave Ajax.
Mazraoui is a 24-year-old right-back who has won a host of trophies with Ajax since gaining promotion to their first team in 2017-18. He has been an attacking threat this season, scoring five goals in 16 Eredivisie outings from defence.
That includes strikes in three consecutive matches back in September, during which Ajax scored a devastating 17 goals.
Mazraoui recently suffered a thigh injury but is now back in the fold. He got on the scoresheet during the recent league victory over title rivals PSV.
The 12-time Morocco international is not at the Africa Cup of Nations after falling out with head coach Vahid Halilhodzic.
Premier League sides Arsenal and Leeds are both monitoring his situation ahead of potential bids. Serie A outfit Roma are also in the mix.
Mazraoui’s agent, Mino Raiola, claimed last year that a January transfer would be unlikely.
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However, the star has now revealed his desire to leave Ajax once the summer window opens.
When asked about his plans for next season, Mazraoui told Dutch media (via the Daily Mail): “That’s a good question. I think the chances of me remaining at Ajax are very small, maybe 5 per cent.
“I am open for something new, I have played here for 16 years and I think it’s a good moment to leave.”
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Arsenal can currently rely on Takehiro Tomiyasu at right-back, with the 23-year-old impressing since his summer move from Bologna.
Reports suggest Mikel Arteta wants to enact a clear-out in the position. It would see Cedric Soares and Calum Chambers both leave the Emirates, therefore making space for Mazraoui.
Leeds, meanwhile, have Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas as options on the right side of defence. But with both players aged 30, manager Marcelo Bielsa could request a younger alternative be brought in.
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Arsenal midfield target given huge price tag
Meanwhile, rumoured Arsenal midfield target Ruben Neves is apparently worth an astronomical £100million.
That’s the view of former Wolves player David Edwards, who made over 300 appearances for the Molineux club between 2008 and 2017.
Neves has been a reliable performer for Wolves since joining from Porto for £15.8m. His sturdy displays in midfield have helped them to maintain their Premier League status after gaining promotion from the second tier four seasons ago.
Both Arsenal and Manchester United have been linked with Neves, but Edwards reckons he will not come cheap.
“I believe Neves is arguably the best midfielder in the Premier League at the moment. The bigger clubs should be knocking Wolves’ door down,” he said via Molineux News.
“He would be a bargain at anything under £100million at the moment, he really would. He does everything you want from a holding midfielder.”
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