While it’s only June 3rd, based on our transfer rumor coverage thus far, it sure seems like Justin Kluivert is this year’s Riyad Mahrez/Edin Dzeko; a transfer target that makes immediate sense but, for a variety of reasons, drags on for months without end. One minute the player agrees to personal terms, the next the selling club is holding out for €20 million, which then changes to €15 million, and then inexplicably jumps to €30 million before landing somewhere awkwardly in between.
Case in point: earlier this week we passed along word that Kluivert and/or his agent had agreed to personal terms with Roma, and while that’s all well and good it represents only one-third of the transfer equation.
So, it should come as no surprise that today we received word that Ajax were none to pleased with Roma’s lowball offer, which was rumored to be as low as €8 million plus bonuses. According to SportItalia (via Football Italia), Monchi is prepared to up that offer to €12 million plus bonuses, bringing the total package to roughly €15 million, which would still seem to fall some €10 million short of Ajax’s rumored asking price.
Under normal circumstances, this all just part of the transfer dance, but €10 million is no trifling amount—it will take all of Monchi’s powers to close that gap, especially with Tottenham and Roma’s 21st century nemesis in the making, Liverpool, reportedly keen on Kluivert.
In addition to his famous name, there are several good reasons why the 19-year-old is such a sought after prospect. With 10 goals and 5 assists in league play last season, Kluivert was (generally speaking) one of the top twenty most effective attacking players in the Eredivisie last season, and that was also the first time I spelled Eredivisie correctly on the first attempt, so bravo to us both!
Kluivert is about as ambidextrous as they come and can play anywhere across the frontline, so in that sense, he’s an ideal addition to Eusebio Di Francesco’s tactical melange. However, with those aforementioned clubs hot on his tail, it remains to be seen if Kluivert’s reported preference for Roma will win out over the deeper Premiership pockets.