Justin Kluivert Rejects Ajax Contract Offer Amid Manchester United Rumours

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2018

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 6: (L-R) Justin Kluivert of Ajax celebrate the victory during the Dutch Eredivisie  match between Excelsior v Ajax at the Van Donge & De Roo Stadium on May 6, 2018 in Rotterdam Netherlands (Photo by Angelo Blankespoor/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Ajax starlet Justin Kluivert has turned down a new deal at the club after accusing them of trying to sell him without his knowledge, with speculation suggesting he is a target for Manchester United.

According to MailOnline's Robert Cottingham, United are interested in Kluivert, who has just one year left on his Ajax contract. And that feeling appears to be mutual, as they are one of several top Premier League outfits he has name-checked as being open to joining.

The 19-year-old also included Tottenham Hotspur in that discussion but said the club tried to sell him to the Lilywhites behind his back.

He told de Volkskrant (h/t Cottingham):

"I'm not renewing my contract at Ajax. Too much has happened. The decreasing morale, lack of confidence, trying to sell me to Tottenham without me knowing.

"I heard about that at the last minute. That says nothing about Ajax, but about the people in the club. They do what they want. I get that feeling again: they do what they want. 

"My plan was to stay, but a lot has happened lately. The fans think that it's only about money, while everyone knows I had it good. I was not waiting for money at all. Football is important. I want to develop myself."

Kluivert shared further complaints to the newspaper:

The Dutch side's business model in recent years has been to develop and sell their young stars for hefty sums. Last summer, for example, they received £42 million from Spurs for Davinson Sanchez.

The club denied Kluivert's accusation, though, and said it was Spurs who brought up the youngster while negotiating the deal for Sanchez.

Ajax told de Volksrant (h/t Squawka's Harry Edwards):

"In the conversations with Spurs about [Davinson] Sánchez there was a lateral discussion about Justin.

"Spurs' proposal was that he would then play in Amsterdam for another two years and that he would then go to Spurs.

"We did not go further on that, because we wanted to renew the contract with Justin. Just like we want to."

Kluivert, who predominantly plays on the left wing but has also made 10 appearances on the right flank this season, contributed 11 goals and five assists in all competitions this season.

The teenager has been impressive, as WhoScored.com highlighted:

Given the time remaining on Kluivert's contract, Dutch football expert Priya Ramesh believes it makes sense for Ajax to sell him this summer:

Losing him for free next year gains the club little, so while the four-time European champions may not receive as much as they would hope by selling him this summer, they would at least get something for the winger.

The teenager is represented by Mino Raiola, who is also United star Paul Pogba's agent. Raiola also represents Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who both recently passed through Old Trafford themselves.

The agent's relationship with United could give them a leg up on the competition for Kluivert's signature. The youngster may not yet be capable of commanding a starting berth with the Red Devils, but he has enormous potential and could be acquired relatively cheaply in today's market.

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