Ajax sporting Director Marc Overmars has admitted that keeping Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt at the club will be difficult, with the duo linked with moves to many of Europe’s biggest clubs.
The Dutch side have a reputation of developing some phenomenal young prospects, and it is widely believed that de Jong and de Ligt will soon be lured away from the club. The pair have been key for Ajax in recent seasons, both featuring in Ajax’s run to the Europa League final in the 2016/17 season.
When asked about whether Ajax would be able to keep the two players at the club, Overmars admitted that it will be challenging to do so. He is quoted by Marca as saying: “It will be difficult to retain these players who are in the newspapers every day because of the interest of other clubs.
“Last year we managed to keep the group together and we only sold [Justin] Kluivert, but it won’t be possible to keep this group of talented players together for the coming years.”
21-year-old de Jong has been the subject of countless transfer rumours in recent weeks. The likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have all been linked with a move for the central midfielder, but there has also been reported interest from several other sides.
De Ligt, 19, has been regarded as a future star for several years since making his Ajax debut in 2016. The centre-back has been linked with many of the same clubs as de Jong, with Barça the frontrunners. However, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have also been touted as potential suitors.
Recent high-profile departures from the Johan Cruyff Arena include Davinson Sanchez and Christian Eriksen, who now play their football for Tottenham, whilst the likes of Luis Suarez, Wesley Sneijder and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all emerged as future superstars during their respective times at the club.
History shows that Ajax are prepared to authorise the sale of any of their players, as long as they receive a sizeable offer for their services. Centre-back Sanchez moved to Tottenham last season for around £36m, and it is likely that both de Ligt and de Jong would cost upwards of this figure.