Donny van de Beek is in no hurry to add himself to an anticipated close-season exodus from Ajax.
Erik ten Hag’s side thrilled European football with a surprise run to the Champions League semi-finals, while the core of that team was a key part of Netherlands qualifying for the Nations League Finals.
That bid for glory ended with runners-up medals after a 1-0 defeat to hosts Portugal in Porto on Sunday, with attention now turning towards what could be some huge moves away from Amsterdam for certain stars.
Frenkie de Jong has already secured a €75million switch to Barcelona – a figure likely to be dwarfed once a number of the continent’s elite clubs are through with a bidding war for Matthijs de Ligt.
Van de Beek saw his own star rise after goals in Ajax’s away legs at Juventus and Tottenham during their Champions League charge, his knack of arriving late into the box from midfield to score at crucial times very much seen as a key quality.
Spurs, Inter, Barca and Manchester United are among the clubs to have been listed as admirers but, speaking after his country’s loss at Estadio do Dragao, the 22-year-old did not seem keen on forcing a move.
“My situation is I have a contract with Ajax and I am really happy,” he said.
“You never know what is going to happen in the future, but I can say nothing about that.”
On De Ligt, who was nutmegged by Goncalo Guedes before the Portugal winger exchanged passes with Bernardo Silva and fired in a 60th-minute winner, Van de Beek added: “A lot of clubs want to buy him, I think, because he is a good player and now he has to choose for himself. Where he feels good, he has to go there.
“I’ve known him a long time and he has a big personality. He is a really good guy, a really good player. He is a good professional who always trains extra.”
11 – The Netherlands are fielding the same starting XI in consecutive games for the first time since October 2014. Trust. pic.twitter.com/D3qMgwHdng
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 9, 2019
Whether he stays or goes, Van de Beek knows an emerging side such as Ajax being pulled apart by more powerful clubs is simply a reality of the modern game.
However, he hopes that core can still write a celebrated chapter at international level, with a considerable resurgence already underway after Netherlands missed out on Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup.
“You see that a lot – players go to another country, another competition,” he said. “That’s normal in Holland, in the Dutch league, you see that a lot of times.
“For the club, Ajax, it was a nice season, but also for the Dutch squad. Two years ago, one and a half, it was a difficult situation. We’ve shown now we have good players and some older players and some young players.
“We have a good mix and I think it’s good for Dutch football.”
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