Dutch Eredivisie giants AFC Ajax have completed the signing of highly-rated teenage Richairo Zivkovic from FC Groningen for a fee believed to be in the region of €2.5 million.
Zivkovic, 17, has inked a three-year deal at the Amsterdam Arena while revealing he originally intended to stay at Groningen for the long-term.
“Initially, it was the intention to stay at Groningen for a longer period and become a regular member of the starting XI in the first team,” Zivkovic told Groningen’s official website, www.fcgroningen.nl.
“But I also have ambitions and, when this chance came, I wanted to take it. “But before I will talk about Ajax, I first want to finish the season at FC Groningen in a good way.”
The Holland youth international, who has reportedly been garnering interest from English Premier League duo Liverpool and Manchester City in recent weeks, has been likened to former Groningen Arjen Robben, who currently plies his trade in Munich.
Zivkovic’s sparkling early-season form kept Uruguayan David Texeira out of the first-team at Euroborg, paving the way for the South American to join MLS side FC Dallas in an attempt to resurrect his career.
The 17-year-old ace has scored six goals in 23 Eredivisie appearances this season.
Hoffenheim want to keep Firmino
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim manager Markus Gisdol has revealed the club will do anything they can to keep hold of No. 10 Roberto Firmino, who has recently been linked with a host of top European clubs.
Chelsea, Liverpool and Internazionale have been credited with an interest in the 22-year-old Brazilian midfielder, while many other clubs are undoubtedly keen on the youngster.
“Of course, we are well aware of all mechanisms of the football business,” Gisdol told Bild.
“But good players we have under contract and are a perfect fit to our tactics are players we basically want to keep at our club. “And Roberto has a contract at our club [beyond the end of this season].”
Although Hoffenheim want to keep Firmino, the best course of action for the club would surely be to cash in on the €15 million-rated ace, with the player’s contract set to expire at the end of next season.
Firmino has tallied 19 goals and 12 assists in 28 appearances in all competitions for Hoffenheim this term.
In other news, Internazionale Milano midfielder Esteban Cambiasso is expected to move to the MLS in the summer, according to River Plate president Rodolfo D’Onofrio.