Leeds Utd have been handed a major boost in their quest to sign a Champions League-level talent after Ajax chief Marc Overmars talked up a summer transfer.
Ajax recently compounded their dominance over Dutch domestic football by securing a league and cup double. A hallmark of their sustained success has been their ability to expertly navigate the choppy waters of the transfer market. Owing to the lesser financial might in Dutch football, however, regular high-profile exits remain a necessity.
Over the last two seasons, the club have made huge profits on the back of departures for Frenkie De Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech, to name a few.
Further exits from the current squad are an inevitability, and Ajax’s Director of Football, Marc Overmars, has revealed which pair could soon depart.
The availability of Argentine full-back Tagliafico will raise eyebrows at Elland Road. Current Leeds left-back Ezgjan Alioski is a favourite with fans, but has been strongly tipped to leave this summer despite Marcelo Bielsa’s recent attempts to convince him to stay.
The 28-year-old Tagliafico has become synonymous with attacking play from deep and would seemingly be a perfect fit for Bielsa’s style.
Offering reasons why Tagliafico and Neres’ Ajax exits make sense, Overmars continued: “Neres has been with Ajax since the beginning of 2017, is 24 years old, and wants to take a step.
“The same applies to Tagliafico. He has been playing here for three and a half years now and will turn 29 next summer. It is no secret that they are open to a transfer.
“Just as it is well known that outbound transfers are a significant part of our revenue.”
Bielsa waxes lyrical over English talents
Meanwhile, Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa picked out five outstanding young English footballers for special praise.
England will go into the European Championships among the favourites to win. And while Bielsa was making no predictions, he feels the outstanding crop of young players gives them hope.
“Another thing fundamental [to English football’s resurgence in European competitions] is what the authorities have done to develop the young players. English football has 10 measures which is no point me mentioning. They capitalise on their qualities.
“The young players for England at the moment, are players who compete at the highest level at just 20-years-old. Comparably with the powerful nations in the world it’s very good.
“When the end of the great players in the last decade comes and England has a different panorama, the players are shining right now.”
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The Leeds boss did not name names; however, he feels there are five stand-out young stars shining bright in the English game.
“Very few nations have five attackers like those England have right now. I am referring to wingers, strikers and offensive midfielders. All of this is not casual, it’s stimulated, induced and does not depend only on money, but the ideas in which the money is situated.”
Having analysed Bielsa’s comments, we feel the Leeds boss is pointing to the following: Phil Foden, Mason Mount, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Jude Bellingham.