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Premier League • England

Arsenal, Leeds face uphill battle to sign Ajax man as Barcelona make contract offer

Noussair Mazraoui celebrates a goal for Ajax with Dusan Tadic during Champions League game v Borussia Dortmund

Arsenal and Leeds will have to act fast to secure the signing of Ajax’s Noussair Mazraoui following a contract offer from Spanish giants Barcelona.

Mazraoui can leave Ajax on a free transfer this summer after running down his contract with the reigning Eredivise champions. Under the Bosman ruling, he is free to speak with interested clubs from all over Europe.

Mazraoui’s impending transfer is not a surprise to Ajax. In January, he said: “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.”

The right-back’s comments put both Arsenal and Leeds on red alert. Mikel Arteta supposedly wants him to challenge Takehiro Tomiyasu, while Leeds chief Victor Orta needs cover for Luke Ayling.

A recent report from Spain put Everton and Aston Villa in the mix for Mazraoui’s signature, too. But a Premier League move is under threat following a Fabrizio Romano update.

According to the transfer specialist, Barcelona have made an opening contract offer to the Morocco international and his entourage.

Noussair Mazraoui ‘tempted’ by Barcelona move

Romano confirms Mazraoui’s desire to leave Ajax, and reveals a switch to the Nou Camp is ‘tempting him’.

Barca are ‘pushing’ to complete the deal before any European rivals – such as AC Milan and Dortmund – are able to sign the 24-year-old first.

Arsenal and Leeds target Noussair Mazraoui receives contract offer

Arsenal and Leeds target Noussair Mazraoui has received a contract offer from Barcelona

Mazraoui would likely become Dani Alves’ successor at right-back, should he agree to join the Blaugrana. In addition, fellow defender Sergino Dest is attracting interest from Chelsea, making the need for a new player more pressing.

Mazraoui has made 130 appearances for Ajax to date, scoring 10 times. He has won two Eredivisie titles and two Dutch cups during his time in the Netherlands.


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Meanwhile, Jamie O’Hara admits Arsenal are cruising their way to a top-four Premier League finish while Manchester United and Tottenham are floundering.

“[Arsenal] look really good, they look decent,” O’Hara told talkSPORT. “They look a good side, they’re solid defensively – they look like a proper outfit. I think it’s theirs now, the top four, I really do.

“I just look at Manchester United and I look at Spurs – they’re just a team of individuals. Manchester United have got better players but they just give up. Mentally, they’re not there.

“Arsenal have got that sort of team spirit, something about them where they want to win.

“They’ve got that winning mentality and I think they’ve got the bit between their teeth and they know it’s there for them to get Champions League football.

“I think Arteta is going to do it, I really do. And that’s going to kill me!”

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