Arsenal are considering a surprise move for Ajax right back Gregory van der Wiel, according to the Daily Mirror. The report says that the Dutchman, who has a year left on his contract, could be available for £7m.
The 24-year-old is also a target for Newcastle United, as is his team-mate Vurnon Anita, and has even been linked to Spanish champions Real Madrid in the past. Between Arsenal and Newcastle, van der Wiel is understood to prefer the London club.
The young defender has caught the eye of several big clubs, including Chelsea, as part of an Ajax team that has won the Dutch league for two years running. He was also a part of the Netherlands team at the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championships. The player has recently accused the club of trying to force him out this summer, in order to avoid losing him as a free agent when his contract runs out next year.
"I now know the club's policy. It's become clear to me that Ajax just want to make money off me. That's why they're pressuring me. It's never a good thing when your club wants you to leave. It's apparently no longer an option to stay. It's not up to me anymore. I do hope that the club realises I've been here since the age of seven. It's always been my dream to play here and I've always given 100 per cent. And I will continue to do so until the end," Goal.com quoted the player as saying. The Dutch international has made over 170 appearances for Ajax in all competitions since breaking into the first team in the 2008/09 season.
Meanwhile, van der Wiel's Holland team-mate and new Aston Villa signing Ron Vlaar said it would be a big loss for the Premier League if Robin van Persie decided to leave Arsenal and go abroad. Centre back Vlaar sealed his transfer to Villa earlier this week on a three-year deal, signing for an undisclosed fee from Feyenoord.
"I really don't know where he is going. I haven't talked to him lately. I just hope he stays in England so I can face him. I've trained against him with the national team and he is a great player. It would be a big loss if he leaves England," ESPN quoted the 27-year-old as saying.