Ajax youngster Riechedly Bazoer has been urged to overlook a summer move to Chelsea or Barcelona and remain in the Dutch capital. Coach Ronald de Boer is seeing one of his club's prized assets again subject to interest from a major European rival, but is hopeful of delaying his exit beyond the upcoming summer transfer window.
The Mirror understands the Blues are in competition with both Manchester City and Barca for the 19-year-old's signature. The player is valued at £24m ($34m) after an impressive 2015 that saw him cement his place in the Ajax first team following promotion from the reserves.
Chelsea are the front-runners for the midfielder, who has scored four goals in 20 starts for his club this season, but with Barcelona in the picture the Premier League champions are not assured of completing the deal. Bazoer has been urged to ignore the high-profile interest in his services and remain in Amsterdam.
"You can always say no, but that will be difficult [to reject Barcelona] De Boer said, according to Goal.com. "He told me that he is only focusing on Ajax and the matches that are about to come," he added when asked directly about Chelsea's interest. "On that point he takes big steps. Earlier he was able to be busy with side issues, but not any more. It's all about the perspective at another club."
Bazoer made his international debut in November 2015 against Wales, and though he will be unable to showcase his talent at a major international tournament in the summer after Netherlands failed to qualify for the European Championships, the remainder of the Eredivisie season represents an opportunity to enhance his reputation. Chelsea are unlikely to take many decisions over signing new players ahead of next season, having yet to appoint a permanent successor to Jose Mourinho.
But the player himself seemingly has no plans of leaving, and with a contract until 2020 there is no thought of a move to Chelsea. "I am very happy at Ajax," he told De Telegraaf, according to Goal.com. "I am developing well here, the coach believes in me and I have a contract with the club until 2020. I am not thinking about other clubs yet.
"I am proud to have become an undisputed starter at Ajax, but I am going through a difficult period at the moment to be honest. I am working really hard in training in order to reach the level from the first half of the season again. I am not saying I have been in bad form, but I always demand more from myself."