After guiding Ajax to the league and Cup double as well as reaching the Champions League semi-final, manager Erik ten Hag has stated he does not fear the break up of his young but talented team in the wake of their Champions League success.
However, ten Hag admits his players are attracting a lot of interest from other clubs. This comes as Ajax have already sold 22-year-old midfielder, Frenkie de Jong, to Barcelona in a deal worth 86 million euros (£75.18 million).
Also, there are rumours surrounding the future of 19-year-old Ajax captain, Matthijs de Ligt, as the highly-rated defender is expected to follow De Jong out of the club for another big fee with the likes of Barcelona, Manchester City and Liverpool linked with a move.
And other youngsters such Hakim Ziyech, David Neres, Donny van de Beek and goalkeeper Andre Onana could also move on to some of Europe’s biggest clubs after the Dutch club’s unexpected progress to the Champions League semi-finals.
“To say I fear the transfer window is not the right word but our players are hot right now,” Ten Hag told reporters. “We left a very positive impression and that is a compliment for Ajax. It will be a heated summer, that we have to expect.”
The former Bayern Munich assistant coach under the tenure of Pep Guardiola added: “But the club’s leadership and I are of the same opinion that we must have the potential to try and achieve again what we did this season.”
An estimated 60,000 supporters gathered on Amsterdam’s Museum Square on Thursday to celebrate Ajax’s domestic league and cup double, which was completed when they beat De Graafschap 4-1 on Wednesday to finish three points clear at the top of the Dutch league.
“It was an incredible season and we must continue in the same way. The enemy never sleeps,” Ten Hag added. “Next season it is going to be a lot more difficult than this season. To reach the Champions League semi-final and win the double – that was never a target. This season belongs among the best in the history of the club.”
He continued: “To become league champions again will be our ambition. But in Europe? I cannot say right now. That we can only determine on Sept. 1 when we know what our squad looks like.”
What are your thoughts on his comments about the future of many Ajax talents? Share your views with us in the comments section.