Ajax find De Jong replacement for 12 million euros
Romania and Sporting Liege midfielder Razvan Marin is set to join the Dutch champions on a five-year deal.
Ajax have not wasted any time in finding a substitute for star midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who will leave this summer to join Barcelona for a fee of 86 million euros.
Romanian Razvan Marin, who will play for his country on Tuesday against the Faroe Islands, has been chosen by the Dutch club’s sporting director, Marc Overmars, to take on the role of the outgoing De Jong from next season.
Ajax will close a deal with Standard Liege for the player for 12 million euros – two million more than what the Belgian club paid for him in January 2017 (and 74 less than what Barcelona will pay for De Jong).
Marin caught Ajax's eye at Amsterdam Arena
Marin is set to sign a five-year contract at the Amsterdam Arena, where he had already faced Ajax twice in the Champions League earlier this season – firstly in the third qualifying round and later again in the group stages.
Despite Liege losing both games (3-0 and 1-0), the Romanian international had caught the eye of Ajax’s sporting direction. Coach Erik ten Hag is also understood to have given his blessing to the deal.
Named Romanian player of the year in 2018, the 22-year-old will earn his 12th cap for his country against the Faroe Islands on Tuesday. This season he has played 37 games in all competitions for Liege, providing five goals and six assists.
Speaking to Voetbal International, Dutch player Ruud Vormer of Belgian club Brugge, compared Marin to De Jong and highlighted the Romanian midfielder’s versatility.
"Frenkie has a great dribble,” he said. “It's one of his weapons. Marin runs much less with the ball. He's one of the best in the Belgian league, he can play both six and eight.”
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