The Magpies have admired the 25-year-old playmaker for some time and tried to lure him to England last summer. However, it seems that the Premier League Cup could be ready to reignite their interest during the forthcoming transfer window.
De Jong, a Swiss-born Dutch international with six senior caps, has been instrumental in helping Ajax to three consecutive Eredivisie championships and is set to lift a fourth if the Amsterdam giants win next week’s trip to Heracles. The midfielder is also hoping to return from injury to lead the club to a KNVB Cup triumph in Sunday’s final against PEC Zwolle, which is held at Feyenoord’s De Kuip stadium.
According to Steve Bates of the Mirror, the £12 million-rated playmaker is being touted as the potential long-term replacement for Yohan Cabaye, who left Newcastle for PSG in January.
Since breaking into the Ajax first team, de Jong has hit an impressive 57 goals in 167 league appearances, reaching double figures in each of the past four campaigns. Progress this season has been somewhat restricted by injuries, but the playmaker has still managed to return seven goals in 18 Eredivisie outings. He has yet to prove himself in one of the elite leagues, but it isn’t hard to see why the Magpies are interested in his talents.
Having progressed through the Ajax ranks to the point that he is a title-winning skipper, nobody could begrudge the Dutchman for seeking a new challenge next season. In theory, he should be approaching his prime years, and now is probably the right time for him to force a move abroad—particularly if he wants to command a more significant role within the national setup.
De Jong’s brother, Luuk, is currently on loan at Newcastle from German club Borussia Monchengladbach. Perhaps the brothers will be reunited on Tyneside next term.
Player stats from Soccerway.
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