Ajax future stars Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt are allegedly coveted by the Bayern Munich front office, but procuring the Dutch internationals will likely cost in excess of €150M per a report by SportBild.
Ajax coach Erik ten Hag was open and frank on how difficult it would be for Ajax to hold on to the talented twosome and also on just how many top-tier clubs are making an effort to bring in the youngsters:
All top six clubs in Europe are after Matthijs and Frenkie. I would like to keep them at Ajax for a long time. But I’m not a dreamer.
SportBild inferred that ten Hag, himself, would recommend that de Jong and de Ligt go to Bayern.
He himself would recommend a transfer to the German record champion to his players, but the former coach of Bayern’s amateurs gives his former club little hope of a discount.
The Ajax coach then stated how much the respective transfer fees would help the club’s finances:
But I can also tell Bayern: all the top clubs are interested in them. And we don’t have release clauses anymore. Ajax sets the price. That at least gives the club a little bit of financial planning security.
SportBild speculates that the price tag for securing the transfer of both players could reach €150M, and they also assume that the acquisition of VfB Stuttgart’s Benjamin Pavard is a done deal. That would make the hypothetical total of the fees very, very high:
If one adds the €35 million for Pavard, Bayern would already be spending €185 million for the three players.
Of the players listed, de Ligt is likely the most important and expensive potential acquisition. At 18 years old, de Ligt is far from a finished product, but he has the necessary physical attributes, skill-set, and leadership qualities that power clubs drool over.
As a midfielder, de Jong is extremely talented, but he would add to the current glut of central midfielders Bayern already has on the roster. At 21, de Jong is an acquisition that would likely need to see consistent field time to ensure a proper return on investment. Could the Dutchman unseat Thiago Alcantara, Leon Goretzka, Corentin Tolisso, or Renato Sanches? I’m not so sure, but he has the talent to push all of them.
A big factor with de Jong is what happens with Joshua Kimmich. As Bayern is allegedly on the hunt for a true defensive midfielder — a position that both Kimmich and de Jong could conceivably man — the club will have to assess how best to use its current players, while ensuring that any investments on the transfer market see an immediate impact.
All this leads to Pavard, who has had a sub-par season for Stuttgart after a breakout World Cup for France. The 22-year-old defender could play center-back or right-back (as he did for France), which, again, could free up Kimmich to move to a CDM role.
There are a lot of dominoes that will fall into place before summer transfer window, but as you can see from above, each move has a direct effect on the other.