Newcastle United could miss out on Dutch international midfielder Vurnon Anita, if the 23-year-old accepts what is believed to be an extremely lucrative new contract from Ajax. Magpies' manager Alan Pardew has been linked with Anita for some time, and earlier reports suggested the player himself would relish a move to the Premier League.
"I've two years left on my contract. But I want some clarity from Ajax about my future. We are having a meeting with Marc Overmars, the club's new sporting director, to get a clear view of what the club wants," the player was quoted as saying by the Mirror, earlier in July. The report also quoted his agent, Harry Lulofs as admitting the interest from St James' Park was serious and his client was tempted by the prospect.
Alan Pardew's side have already had a bid of £5m rejected and are expected, says The Sun, to return with a £7.5m offer. Lulofs was quoted by Goal.com as suggesting the Dutch club would only allow Anita to leave for an "exceptional fee" - something in the region of £7m. A report by the Mirror puts that probable fee in the region of £8m.
"They never tell me. Ajax did tell me that he can only leave when Newcastle pays an exceptional fee. They didn't say how high that fee should be. I think €9m (£7m) is a decent fee," Lulofs explained, "If my information's right, that's what Tottenham paid for Vertonghen. Vurnon is a midfielder, so I think a fee around the €9m (£7m) seems fair."
An earlier IBTimes UK report stated Overmars had dismissed any talk of a move and the former Dutch international has since been quoted by The Sun as saying the club "don't want to lose Anita". The club has since offered Anita a possible two-year extension to his present contract, which runs out in 2014.
"Ajax do not want to lose Vurnon. Therefore we have offered him a new deal until 2015 or 2016. The coaches are very clear and see Vurnon as an important first-team player. We don't want to let go of him. He will become one of the top earners at Ajax with his new contract," Overmars explained.
Meanwhile, Pardew has also targeted Brazilian centre-back Douglas, who plays for Eredivise side FC Twente. The English club has already lodged a bid, believed to be £4m, and offered the player a reported £40,000 per week.