Romano: Ten Hag wants Ajax ‘super-talent’ at Man Utd after he ‘turned down’ Chelsea in 2020
Ajax teenager Amourricho van Axel Dongen is out of contract at the end of the season and Man Utd have been ‘informed’ about his situation, according to Fabrizio Romano.
The 18-year-old was handed his Ajax debut by Erik ten Hag in December 2021 at the age of 17, a month before being given his first minutes in Eredivisie.
He is clearly highly rated by the current Man Utd boss but has no first-team minutes in 2022-23 under both Alfred Schreuder and Johnny Heitinga.
This could play a huge part in his decision-making process ahead of the summer transfer window with his contract set to run out at the end of June.
According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Man Utd are one of many clubs ‘informed’ about Van Axel Dongen’s situation in Amsterdam.
It is emphasised that Ten Hag ‘knows him’ and is another Ajax player being linked with a move to Old Trafford.
Ajax have offered the teenager a new contract lasting until 2027, Romano adds.
Last September, Van Axel Dongen hinted that he would be open to a reunion with Ten Hag in the future.
“I will remain eternally grateful to him for giving me the opportunity as a young player to play football with players like Antony and Dusan Tadic,” he told Voetbal Zone.
“And I think it’s great to see that things are going a bit better with Manchester United; I really wish him that.
“Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to speak to him [Ten Hag] since his transfer to United, but who knows, our paths may cross in the future.
“To be honest, I am not currently in the process of renewing my contract.
“For now I will focus completely on staying fit and playing and see what comes my way. Talks are not underway yet, but they could always be.”
A lot has been said about Van Axel Dongen, with the biggest sport site in Sweden, SvenskaFans, reporting that the Dutch champions ‘hope to extend’ the contract of the ‘super-talent’.
Ajax’s 2021 Academy Player of the Year reportedly turned down a move to Chelsea in 2020 before signing his first professional contract.
It is believed that the Blues, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund tried to sign the then-15-year-old, who insisted at the time: “My goal was to stay here regardless. I want to succeed at Ajax.”
Van Axel Dongen predominantly plays as a left-winger and attracted clubs around the continent at a very young age having worked his way through different age-group sides.
The famous academy at Ajax has produced some of the biggest talents in world football over the years.
One of the best is Clarence Seedorf, who Van Axel Dongen has revealed is one of his idols.
The 18-year-old told Trouw last year: “I look up to him very much.
“My mother pointed him out to me and then I started to get to know him by watching videos. He was a good footballer, but also a good person.”
And the player’s father told Ajax Showtime: “He (Seedorf) sent Amourricho a message via Instagram in which he said that Amo was doing well and that he should continue like this.
“That was a really happy moment. Amourricho really liked that, and it motivates him to continue getting better.”
Current Ajax boss Heitinga has previously hailed Van Axel Dongen’s talent.
“Amourricho has a lot of potential,” he said. “He has high expectations of himself.
“He is a boy who makes the difference. He has great individuality, but can run both on the outside and inside, and has power.
“He is a boy on a mission, he knows what he wants and is very aware of the steps he has to take.
“He occasionally trains with the first team, where you can see that he is being challenged because it all moves even faster.
“You can see that Amourricho is a talented player. The spotlight is now on him.”
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