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Ajax tells clubs to back off their young Dutch stars

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In the past, Dutch giants Ajax have looked to make a profit developing strong Dutch talent from the youth level and selling them to big clubs all across Europe. Today, Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars has told clubs not to bother inquiring about their rising young stars.

“We have now reached a point where we simply say that we are not selling these players,” Overmars told Dutch publication De Telegraaf.

While Overmars did suggest they could reconsider in a year’s time, for now, young stars like Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs De Ligt are Ajax players now and for the future.

“He [De Jong] is not for sale, and I have communicated this to all parties involved,” Overmars said. “It is the same for Matthijs. Clubs that are interested are free to come back next year. Of course, Davinson Sanchez’s move [to Tottenham] last year showed that it is not always easy to stand firm.

“They are still only 19, 20 years old. I have told these players and their agents that a transfer after this season could be an option if the right offer comes in. Frenkie de Jong, Donny van de Beek and Matthijs de Ligt are not for sale as far as we are concerned, not even for an insane amount. They should play about 40 games for Ajax first in 2018-19.”

De Ligt, now 18, is the most well-known name of the group, having made headlines when he because the youngest Dutch international since 1931, making his debut at just 17 years old. Meanwhile, a 21-year-old box-to-box midfielder, De Jong is often considered the most talented young star with the highest ceiling.

Finally, others that Ajax could see develop into special talent include 21-year-old wide player Donny van de Beek, 21-year-old right winger David Neres, 20-year-old striker Kasper Dolberg, 20-year-old defender Max Wober, 20-year-old defensive midfielder Carel Eiting, and 20-year-old Noussair Mazraoui among many others who received playing time towards the end of last season.

Ajax has been on the hunt this summer, not only keeping the youth talent to itself, but also spending on incoming stars Dusan Tadic and Daley Blind, both of whom return to the club after spells in the Premier League.

Blind to leave Man United, return to Ajax

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Daley Blind will leave Manchester United this summer and return to Ajax, the club from which the Red Devils signed him in 2014, per a brief and open-ended announcement from the Premier League side on Monday.

[ MORE: Thierry Henry leaves TV job to focus on managerial career ]

The 28-year-old Dutch defender/midfielder was previously an every-game player at Man United, from 2014-2016, but he was limited to just seven PL appearances (four starts) and 361 minutes (plus another six starts and 540 minutes in the UEFA Champions League) last season.

While the final details of Blind’s move are yet to be announced, it has been reported that United will receive a fee in the neighborhood of $18.5 million after paying $18 million for his services following the last World Cup.

Chelsea reveal new manager Sarri, midfielder Jorginho

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It had been an intriguing summer for the Blues in the midst of an exciting World Cup, but the Stamford Bridge side has completed two major moves, including a new manager.

[ MORE: Daley Blind ends Man United tenure with Ajax return ]

On Saturday, Chelsea announced the additions of manager Maurizio Sarri and midfielder Jorginho, both of whom join the London side from Serie A giants Napoli.

Sarri replaces outgoing coach Antonio Conte, who was sacked earlier in the week after just two seasons with the Blues.

“I look forward to starting work and meeting the players on Monday ahead of travelling to Australia, where I will be able to get to know the squad and begin our match action,” Sarri said following the appointment.

“I hope we can provide some entertaining football for our fans, and that we will be competing for trophies at the end of the season, which is what this club deserves.”

On the transfer front, Jorginho becomes the first addition for Chelsea this summer, as the club likely waited to sort out the Conte situation prior to signing any new players.

In five seasons with Napoli, Jorginho made 160 appearances in all competitions, while also working his way into the Italian national side as a regular.

Transfer rumor roundup: City still wants Mahrez, Verratti to United?

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Pro Soccer Talk examines the day’s biggest transfer stories, including Pep Guardiola‘s renewed interest in a Leicester City star.


Manchester City nearly captured the signature of Riyad Mahrez back in January, and it appears that the Premier League champions haven’t given up hope of bringing in the Algeria international.

Mahrez has spent five seasons with Leicester, including the club’s 2015/16 PL title-winning campaign.


Meanwhile, Manchester United has its sights set on a talented midfielder in the form of Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti.

The Red Devils are seeking another ball-winner in the center of the park to work with Nemanja Matic, and could be in for the Italian, as well as Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fred.


Bayern Munich could turn to an England international at goalkeeper in the future, as a potential replacement to Manuel Neuer in the long-term.

The Bundesliga champions will reportedly send scouts to the World Cup in Russia to get a closer look at Jordan Pickford, who currently plays for Everton.

The 24-year-old is likely to start in net for the Three Lions this summer, as England prepares for a difficult group stage that features Belgium, Tunisia and Panama.


Finally, Inter Milan could take Daley Blind off of Manchester United’s hands after the defender struggled to find playing time in 2017/18.

Blind made just seven PL appearances this past season at Old Trafford, and could be seeking a change of scenery in an effort to gain more playing time.

Mourinho wields axe: Pogba, other stars to leave Man United

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Manchester United are reportedly ready to let Paul Pogba leave this summer.

According to multiple reports the French midfielder will be sold after this season as he continues to clash with manager Jose Mourinho.

Pogba, 25, has only completed 90 minutes in four of his last 11 games for United and was subbed in the second half of their shock home defeat against West Brom on Sunday, although Mourinho insisted that was because he was on a yellow card and he didn’t want to go down to 10-men.

Yet this situation between Pogba and Mourinho has been unraveling for some time as the former was left out of plenty of United squads, then Pep Guardiola revealed recently that Man City were offered the chance to buy Pogba in January, around the same time he was dropped by Mourinho in place of youngster Scott McTominay.

Things have deteriorated quickly for the club-record $130 million signing as he started the season superbly but then injury and a loss of form derailed his campaign. It now seems like Mourinho is ready to move on from Pogba.

As for some of United’s other stars, it is believed that Anthony Martial, Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian will all be sold this summer as Mourinho wants a huge clearance as he tries to close the gap on Manchester City who wrapped up the PL title on Sunday.

Looking ahead to United’s clash at Bournemouth on Wednesday (Watch live, 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as their battle for second place rumbles on — United are four points ahead of fourth-place Tottenham and one point ahead of third-place Liverpool — Mourinho said it is an audition for players to be starters for their huge FA Cup semifinal against Spurs at Wembley on Saturday.

“If I play someone against Bournemouth and he is phenomenal, he plays the semi-final,” Mourinho said. “The word is not rotation. This is an opportunity for some people to play and to try to get a place in the team. Some of the guys who played [against West Brom], they don’t have a place in that team. I only know one criteria [for choosing the team]. It is the way you play. This is the only way I can select players. Do you want me to go for the price they cost? Or their salary? Or their beautiful face? The only way is to go with performance.”

It seems like it’s not only Pogba who will be playing for his Manchester United in the final weeks of the season, with the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera also at risk of losing their starting spot.

Mourinho is on the war-path ahead of a key semifinal clash. If United finish second in the PL and win the FA Cup, that’s not a bad season, but if they finish in fourth and don’t win the FA Cup, it’s not a great season at all despite some progression.