Man Utd boss Ten Hag fails to land Ajax star Van Axel Dongen as ace extends deal
Ten Hag gives Man Utd team news update ahead of facing Wolves
Manchester United have been handed a significant blow in their pursuit of Ajax forward Amourricho van Axel Dongen. The forward has recently committed his future to the Eredivisie outfit, with his former contract set to expire this summer.
Since his arrival at Old Trafford, Erik ten Hag has made use of his ties in the Netherlands to acquire top talent from his former stomping ground. Lisandro Martinez and Antony were both signed from Ajax, with Tyrell Malacia arriving from Feyenoord.
The trio have taken to the Premier League like ducks to water, and Ten Hag was hoping to replicate the masterstrokes by signing Van Axel Dongen when his contract expires at the end of the season. According to Fabrizio Romano, United were being ‘informed’ of his situation and that the forward was considering his future.
However, the Red Devils’ plans have been dealt a significant blow as Ajax have announced that the 18-year-old has penned a new contract in Amsterdam and will no longer be available as a free agent this summer. The announcement read: “Ajax and Amourricho van Axel Dongen have reached an agreement on the extension of his contract, which ran until June 30, 2023.
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“The new contract of the 18-year-old attacker, who will play using the name Amourricho from now on, runs until June 30, 2027. After the summer break, he will join the Ajax 1 squad.” Ten Hag has been a significant figure in Van Axel Dongen’s rise through the ranks, having closely monitored his progress in the Ajax academy before taking the decision to move the winger into the first-team fold.
The Dutch boss then handed Van Axel Dongen his debut against Utrecht in January 2022, replacing Antony as a late substitute. The forward has featured just twice since, with the club moving him back to Jong Ajax – their younger side – where he has been biding his time since.
Ajax appear to have convinced Van Axel Dongen that a return to the first-team is on the horizon, with the club in desperate need of fresh faces after free-falling down the Eredivisie – currently occupying fourth place in the table with three games of the season remaining while Feyenoord have already been announced as champions.
Ten Hag’s former side’s struggles could present United with a chance to pounce upon a rare opportunity where Ajax are in need of funds to spark a rebuild. The Red Devils are keen admirers of Jurrien Timber, having attempted to sign him in 2022, and could reignite that interest if he pushes for an exit this summer.
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