Tag Archives: Manchester City

City deliver a sad UCL return for Feyenoord


Group F

Feyenoord 0-4 Manchester City

De Kuip

Wednesday 13th September 2017

Feyenoord’s first appearance in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League for fifteen years swiftly turned into a nightmare on Wednesday night as the reigning Eredivisie champions were hit four by a merciless Manchester City in front of a stunned De Kuip.

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Despite coming into the clash with Pep Guardiola’s star-studded Citizens on the back of a 100% start to the campaign, coach, Giovanni van Bronckhorst was unable to call upon a number of key faces including star striker, Nicolai Jørgensen, who limped off in the early stages of Feyenoord’s win over Heracles on Saturday evening with a hamstring problem.

As a result, the hosts adopted an unfamiliar 5-2-3 formation with van Bronckhorst, as expected, recalling centre half, Eric Botteghin after the Brazilian sat out Saturday’s trip to Almelo while also somewhat surprisingly favouring Sofyan Amrabat in the starting XI over Kevin Diks and Jens Toornstra, who were dropped to the bench.

Having hit Liverpool for five last time out and boasting an unbeaten record of their own thus far this term, Guardiola’s men arrived in Rotterdam in confident mood, determined to erase the memory of last season’s round of 16 exit from European club football’s elite competition at the hands of Monaco on the away goals rule.

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This determination was clear for all too see as the visitors broke the deadlock in just the second minute of the match – John Stones out-jumping Jan-Arie van der Heijden to direct a David Silva cross from the left beyond both Feyenoord ‘keeper, Brad Jones and Tonny Vilhena, who failed to clear the England international’s headed effort off the line despite being perfectly placed to do so at the back post.

With the hosts rocking on their heels in front of a stunned home crowd, the away side soon threatened to double their advantage and very nearly did so just five minutes after taking the lead. However, Botteghin was on hand to snuff out the danger by heading compatriot, Gabriel Jesus’ looping goal-bound header off the line and over the bar after Jones was left rooted to the spot.

Having escaped by the skin of their teeth just three minutes earlier, Feyenoord did fall further behind ten minutes in when, having gotten free down the right, England international full back, Kyle Walker found Sergio Agüero on the edge of the box who, having escaped the attentions of his would-be marker, Botteghin, fired the ball beyond an exposed Jones to double the away side’s advantage.

Despite having been put firmly under the cosh for the opening twenty minutes of the contest the home side did eventually show signs of life when Jean-Paul Boëtius slipped Michiel Kramer in behind the City back line only for the man filling in for the injured Jørgensen to see his effort turned behind by visiting ‘keeper, Ederson, who was sporting a skull cap to protect extensive facial injuries sustained during a horrific clash with Sadio Mane in his side’s Premier League thrashing of Liverpool on Saturday.

However, any hopes the hosts may have harboured of staging a dramatic fight-back were dispelled in the twenty fifth minute when Jones could only parry a vicious low drive from Benjamin Mendy into the path of an unmarked Gabriel Jesus, who was left with the simple task of tapping the ball into an unguarded net as the home side appealed in vain for offside.

With the visitors firmly in control tempers began to fray amongst the home side with Jerry St. Juste, Kramer and Vilhena all going into the book of Polish referee, Szymon Marciniak as the temporary respite of the interval approached.

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Despite Guardiola’s side noticeably easing off the throttle after the break as they turned their attention towards a potentially tricky trip to Watford on Saturday, their hosts never really looked like getting onto the scoresheet and with the visitors threatening to further extend their advantage with every attack, it came as little surprise when the away side made it four and effectively ended the game as a contest shortly after the hour mark – Stones heading home his second of the night from close range with sixty three minutes on the clock after being picked out by Kevin De Bruyne following a neat give-and-go between the Belgian international and David Silva on the left.

Having been thoroughly out-played in front of their own fans, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side face a daunting trip to Naples on 26th September in their next UEFA Champions League engagement.

But before that hurdle comes one of the showpiece encounters of the Dutch season as Feyenoord make the trip to Eindhoven to face PSV on Sunday – a game which offers van Bronckhorst’s charges a welcome opportunity to erase the memory of what was an underwhelming performance in the club’s first UEFA Champions League group stage fixture for fifteen years.

 Man of the Match: John Stones (Manchester City)        


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PSV wish to sign Man City youngster

PSV sporting director Marcel Brands has stated that the Eredivisie champions wish to make the permanent signing of Manchester City loanee defender Karim Rekik when the transfer window opens on June 1st.

The defender, still only 20 years old, has been loaned to the Eindhoven side for the last two seasons and in that time Rekik has formed a strong central defensive partnership with former Chelsea youth Jeffrey Bruma.

After just clinching the Eredivisie title, PSV are looking to use the money from the sale of Memphis Depay to Manchester United to build a squad to compete in the UEFA Champions’ League group stages next term.

Brands speaking to De Telegraaf on Friday, the director confirmed that PSV wish to keep Rekik for the foreseeable future: “Karim simply has three options for next season. Firstly, he stays here and we buy him. That would hopefully be practicable for both parties. Another option is that he stays at Manchester City, however that is the least likely option. And last, another club buys him.”

He added that City were looking to loan the young defender out again, however that is an option that the defender has rejected:  “Karim wishes to breakthrough to the Dutch national squad and Manchester City wished to loan him into a different league, but Karim refused. At PSV knows he better chance of playing in the European Championships next summer. But for now, he has a choice to make.”

One would presume that the defender will make a statement on his future soon after the season ends next weekend, so if staying at PSV is not an option, the club can look elsewhere to help build the team for next year.


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Man City defender makes loan move to PSV

Young Dutch central defender Karim Rekik has returned to PSV Eindhoven on loan after arrival of Eliaquim Mangala put him further down the pecking order at Manchester City writes Will Burns.

PSV TV speaking to Rekik - image courtesy of PSV Media

The competition for places in the centre of the Premier League champions’ defence made a major stumbling block for the future of Rekik in Manchester.

The 19-year-old defender enjoyed a successful spell in Eindhoven last term under head coach Philip Cocu, where the youngster formed a great partnership with Jeffrey Bruma and made 25 Eredivisie starts. Then Dutch coach, Louis van Gaal was impressed with the performances of the 6ft 1inch defender, Rekik was selected in the Oranje’s 30-man provisional squad before the World Cup finals this summer.

PSV technical director Marcel Brands has been very vocal about wishing to take Rekik back into the squad this season and with the arrival of French international Eliaquim Mangala from Porto for £32million, City boss Manuel Pellegrini made the decision to let Rekik rejoin the Eindhoven club.

Today saw the announcement from PSV that Rekik has indeed joined on a season-long loan deal and could be ready to re-debut for PSV against NAC Breda this Saturday night at the Philips Stadion. This player must boost PSV’s title challenge and may see rivals Ajax, Feyenoord and FC Twente further strengthen their squads before the September 2nd transfer deadline.


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Feyenoord determined to sign Man City striker

Martin Van Geel and Feyenoord seem to have settled on Manchester City’s John Guidetti as replacement for Graziano Pellè.  He is not a stranger to finding the net especially at De Kuip as during his last loan spell there he scored 20 goals in 23 games writes Andries Oosterveen.

Napoli’s valuation of Colombian striker Duvan Zapata and Wolfsburg attacker Bas Dost’s salary demands have clearly been a stumbling block.

The Premier League champions would want a figure of around €5 million, which could prove to be a small problem for Feyenoord although, hopefully a deal will be sorted out as Guidetti is at the age of 22 of still a huge talent and would be a perfect fit for Feyenoord’s young team.

The fact that Martin Van Geel is speaking to three strikers at once shows the seriousness of the situation. Interestingly, will John Guidetti be the last or the first of a couple?


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The Man City midfielder excelling in the Eredivisie


This past Saturday night, Will Burns sat watching the SC Cambuur-FC Twente match and he saw a new name on the team sheet – it was ‘Albert Rusnák’.

I remember researching the 20-year-old earlier last month when I heard Manchester City was allowing the player to cross the North Sea and head into Leeuwarden on a season-long deal.

I discovered that Rusnák played youth football in homeland of Slovakia for MFK Košice before signing for the Citizens in 2010, where he joined the club’s academy on Platt Lane. After approximately three years of youth and reserve-team football, he was farmed out to League One in England, down the road in Oldham to gain some experience. Rusnák made his first senior appearance as a substitute on 31 August 2013 against Tranmere Rovers in a league encounter. Obviously impressing, he did not have to wait long for his first professional start, just three days later, in a Football League Trophy win over Shrewsbury Town. However, later in mid-September, Rusnák’s loan was cut short and he was returned to Manchester after he refused to play for Oldham’s reserve team. On his return to the Etihad, the Daily Mail reported that the head of youth development at the club, Patrick Vieira, ordered Rusnák to go back to Oldham and apologise for his actions.

In the January window this year, Rusnák was on his travels again joining Championship side Birmingham City for a month. Manager Lee Clark selected the Slovakian Under-21 international into his starting eleven for the FA Cup defeat to Swansea City. After three starts in the month spell, he returned to City for the remainder the season and played consistently for Man City’s Elite squad.

This past Saturday, Rusnák was named to make his debut in Cambuur’s starting line-up and from the kick-off you could see this boy was special. In the opening moments, on the ball, he was a delight to watch. Tremendously creative, pacy with a quick brain, spotting players movement and quickly laying the ball into their feet.

Then when things were not working out for his side, he tracked back and with great tenacity, won back the possession and laid the pass off. However, he made a statement after just 13 minutes. Cambuur won a free-kick on the edge of the area; Rusnák stepped up and curled it perfectly into the top corner giving Twente keeper Nick Marsman no chance of stopping. His first game for Cambuur and his first ever goal in professional football.

Starting at 40 seconds check out the goal in the video below shot by a Cambuur fan.

After the match, Rusnák was interviewed by NOS Studio Sport (Dutch version of ‘Match of the Day’) regarding the goal, the game and the move to Cambuur: “It’s a perfect start I think, except that maybe we deserved more than a draw but I’m happy with the goal. But if it was a winning goal for three points, it would be better. I’m not a [free-kick] specialist but I hope to be one day. I have been practising all this week and happily, it paid off.”

Rusnák stated he knew very little regarding Cambuur before the move so he did some research: “A week before I first came here, I looked up on the internet and learned about the club and the fans. I read about they are very passionate and that’s what I love about football”

Rusnák also added why he chose the Netherlands to further his career instead of staying in England: “I think the Dutch league is perfect for the young players. They like to play football and Holland develop many young players so I think this is a perfect opportunity for me.”

If the Slovakian continues to play like he did on Saturday night, it will be a happy and productive season for Rusnák and Cambuur. He will gain excellent first-team experience that Karim Rekik achieved last year at PSV, and has now took back to the City of Manchester Stadium to try and win the affections of City boss Manuel Pellegrini.


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Feyenoord want Man City striker

John Guidetti is a strong candidate to replace Graziano Pellè at Feyenoord. After Wolfsburg striker Bas Dost has laughed off reports that he return to the Eredivisie, the Rotterdam club’s sporting director Martin van Geel has stated Guidetti is on the list to replace the Italian.

Talking to RTV Rijmond, Van Geel spoke highly of the young Swedish striker, “The name of John Guidetti will always be remembered by our supporters. John has become this legend since the season he was here, he was incredible. He’s always in our thoughts and he ticks all the boxes for us. We will make our best move for him. Preferably as soon as possible”

Guidetti has struggled at the other clubs he went on loan to, but took to the Eredivisie like a fish to water, scoring 20 goals in 23 games for Feyenoord during the 2011-2012. Ronald Koeman, who was manager of Feyenoord during Guidetti’s loan spell, might be interested in bringing him to his new club, Southampton, as a replacement for the departed Rickie Lambert. It was Sven Goran Eriksson who spotted the youngster and brought him to Manchester.

However, it hasn’t all been upward trending for the young Swede. In 2012, Guidetti ate an infected piece of chicken, lost the feeling in one of his legs and lost an entire season due to the mishap. He has returned with a point to prove and at the age of 22, it could be time for the striker to get a fairer share of first team football. With Manchester City’s striking options, it appears unlikely he will be given these chances in the Premier League.

If he were to return to Feyenoord, it would be to warm welcome from the fans. We’re quite sure that he would welcome them back into his life, also.


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No PSV return for Man City’s Rekik

After impressing in Eindhoven last year, Karim Rekik was rumoured to be offered a return to the Philips Stadion ahead of the new Eredivisie campaign. However, in an interview with CityTV today, the defender stated he is out to earn a place in Manuel Pellegrini’s starting line-up at Manchester City.

The big 6ft 1inch central defender had an outstanding year last season under Philip Cocu playing 30 times in all competitions for PSV. He impressed Oranje coach Louis van Gaal too, who named him in his pre-World Cup 30-man provisional squad.

PSV technical director has discussed with the press the possibility of the young defender returning for another stint on loan but in Rekik’s latest interview, the youngster has stated he wants to “fight for a place” at City.

Rekik returned to Manchester this summer and is now currently with the first team in Scotland as part of City’s pre-season program.  The 19-year-old is hoping that regular football last year in the Eredivisie has prepared him for his City future.

Rekik told City TV: “I just played every game which I think is important for a young player and it was a great experience for me. I have to spoke to him [Pellegrini] and he said that I had a good year last year and that I need to work now and fight for my place.”

“I will see if I’m ready [City’s first team] and that’s the choice of the manager,” he continued.

You can watch Karim’s full interview below via Youtube and City TV.


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Celtic set to lose commanding defender?


Celtic’s Dutch central defender Virgil van Dijk is set to leave the Scottish Premiership champions at the end of the season according to his agent, Henk-Maarten Chin.

The 22-year old has been a revelation in the Celtic defence this season since his £2.6 million summer move from FC Groningen last year.

Due to his success he has been linked with a move away throughout the season with a host of Barclays Premier League clubs, including Manchester United and Manchester City waiting in the wings to take the big Dutchman to the North-West of England.

Yesterday, his agent, Henk-Maarten Chin, stated that the Celtic defender could certainly be leaving Parkhead in the summer, although he did admit no club has bid so far.

Speaking to the Scotsman, Chin said: “There is certainly interest. Many English clubs are interested in him – many top clubs. They watch him and are very keen but there has been no official approach for Virgil yet, but that will come after the season ends.

“There’s certainly far more interest in him than we could have dreamed of and I expect something will happen for him this summer.”

“Celtic were completely outplayed by Barcelona, but Virgil was the only player who was OK and against AC Milan, he made a great impression in his battles against a top player like Mario Balotelli.”

The player is yet to comment on his agent’s words but one thing is for sure, it is every player’s dream to play for his country and since Van Dijk’s move to Scotland, he has been overlooked by Oranje coach Louis van Gaal despite the defender’s incredible form.

Van Gaal has been selecting young Eredivisie defenders like Ajax’s Joel Veltman, Feyenoord’s pair Stefan de Vrij and Terence Kongolo, PSV’s Jeffrey Bruma and Karim Rekik while these five players have showed weaknesses all season that Virgil has not.

Anyone who watched the Eredivisie last season will be shocked by Van Dijk’s exclusion in the Dutch squad but will not be surprised by the interest shown in him by other clubs. In fact I remember writing at the start of the season, my shock that this player chose Celtic to advance his career.

No disrespect to Scottish champions, as I am fully aware of the massive size and support of the club but I honestly thought a move to the Premiership, where the big money and the vast exposure is available for players, would have suited Van Dijk and especially his agent better.


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The Eredivisie season restarts after the winter break on Friday night, so as a preview, we have decided to rundown the stars of the division so far this season.

Here’s Will Burns with  the next five…

Vitesse - Kelvin Leerdam

Feyenoord must be ruing the day they let Mr. Leerdam join Vitesse Arnhem on a free transfer in the summer. Although, the Rotterdam side have a fantastic right-back in Daryl Janmaat, he does not have the goalscoring prowess of Kelvin Leerdam.

From sixteen appearances this season, 14 games at right-back, Leerdam has notched up seven goals, including three goals in that last four games. Not bad for a free transfer.

A true attacking full-back, Leerdam is a confident dribbler and at times acting as a supplementary right-winger. The 23-year-old has continued to be dependable defending too. He has made 36 tackles, 23 interceptions and 58 clearances so far this campaign. 

Feyenoord - Graziano Pelle

The Italian hitman is a bit of a godfather in front of goal, showing no mercy and laying all his opponents to rest. Once again, it has been a tremendous season for Pelle, at 29-years-old, he has notched 13 in 16 starts.

The man from Lecce is the epitome of an old-fashioned ‘no. 9’ – the ability to hold the ball up, bringing others into the game, great movement, good in the air, a good football brain and a lethal finisher. It is no wonder how it finds it so easy to score in the Eredivisie.

Feyenoord has scored 36 league goals so far this term, Pelle has scored 36% of them and with the Rotterdam side sitting just four points of the leaders, then a strong challenge to win their first Eredivisie title since the 1998/99 season.

Vitesse - Lucas Piazon

This is personally my pick of the best player of the half-season. Another talent on-loan from Chelsea, no-one can argue that the young Brazilian has not made the most impact out of all of them.

At just 19, he has become Vitesse Arnhem’s quarterback, everytime he receives the ball, the Arnhem side look likely to score. He has amazing figures in front of goal, from 16 starts, Piazón has scored 11 goals and created 8 assists.

With Piazon at the helm, leading the team forward, currently joint on points with Ajax at the top of the Eredivisie, Vitesse look to have the best chance of the past few years in stopping the Amsterdammers stranglehold on the league championship.

FC Twente - Quincy Promes

Promes was has made a real impact at Twente this year and it’s not surprising since he was named the winner of the Eerste Divisie’s player of the year award, last season while at the promoted Go Ahead Eagles.

Sitting on the right side of attack in a 4-3-3, Promes is finishing as many chances, as he creates them. From 15 games, the 22-year-old has scored eight times while providing four assists. He loves a shot from outside the area and has let fire a total of 49 shots.

This season, he has linked up tremendously with Dusan Tadić and Luc Castaignos and all three are responsible to the impressive third place that Twente are sitting in, just three points from joint leaders Ajax and Vitesse, proving that the division is not a two-horse race.

PSV - Karim Rekik

Averaging 6.6 clearances per game, Karim Rekik has become one of the first names on Philip Cocu’s team sheet at PSV this season, although it has been a disappointing campaign for the young side.

Rekik, himself only 19, joined this summer on loan from Manchester City and already PSV Director of Football Marcel Brands has admitted he has enquired about keeping him for the 14/15 season also.

Standing at 6ft 1inches tall, Rekik uses his height to his advantage for aerial duels and headed clearances. He is proving to be strong in the air, currently winning 73.6% of his aerial duels. Karim is capable of playing from the back, an attribute which is steadily gaining real significance for the PSV backline. 



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A look at PSV’s Karim Rekik

There are rumours of Manchester City being interested in signing a centre-back (Pepe to be precise) as Joleon Lescott seeks more playing time before the World Cup which may not be possible at City due to the meteoric emergence of Mataja Nastasic. But there’s one player who may well compete for the starting spot in the central defence in the upcoming years, Karim Rekik. Rekik is well known in the youth circuit and is rated as one of the most promising player from City.


Karim Rekik,18, (Left Foot) plays for the Netherlands youth and is of Tunisian descent. Rekik spent 9 years at the Feyenoord academy before moving to Manchester at a very young age. He made his City debut at the age of 16 when he came on from the bench as a substitute for Wayne Bridge against Birmingham City in a League Cup tie. He was latter loaned to Portsmouth where he was a regular player on the team list having started 8 matches, usually occupying the Left back position for the
Pompeys. The next loan spell to Blackburn was a frustrating one as he started in only 4 matches and
being named on the bench in 8 matches. He made his Premier League debut in December when he started against Reading in a 1-0 victory, again occupying the Left back spot. Currently he is at PSV Eindhoven on loan and produced a match winning performance against Fenerbahce in 2-0 in the recent friendly, starting at his natural centre-back position. Rekik is a regular member for the Netherlands Youth national team. Infact, Rekik captains the Netherlands U19 squad. He had to withdraw from the U19 Euros because of his loan spell at PSV.

Scout Report

In his own words,Rekik’s natural position is centre-back but he can cover up the left-back spot whenever needed. Rekik has been/is the captain of Feyenoord youth, City reserves and the Netherlands youth national team. Despite his young age, he has already acquired some handy experience. Standing 6 foot 1 inch tall, Rekik uses his height to good use. He is very strong in the air and we can expect some power headers from him in set piece situations. Being robust, he is very difficult to push off the ball. Rekik is extremely confident possession and he showed his rich variety of passes in the recent friendly against Fenerbahce. He can read the game very well and has brilliant anticipation and intercepting skills to handle any Strikers next move. Rekik is well composed in any situations but at the same time does not shy away from sliding in a tackle. He is always there to challenge for ground or aerial 50/50 and his leadership qualities can be seen in the way he conducts himself on the pitch. He positions himself well and it won’t be surprising to see him in the City squad by next season itself. Rekik is the only left footed centre-back at PSV and with the highly rated Jetro Willems at left-back, Rekik will get to play at his preferred position more often.

The loan spell at PSV is a very good platform for Rekik to announce himself and to gain more  experience from playing at the top level. There’s no doubt Rekik will come out as a more developed player at the end of this loan spell. Rekik said he wants to represent Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup, It maybe a too high target to achieve in such less time but no denying this young lad will be the first choice centre back for Netherlands and City very soon.


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PSV loan Man City starlet

Local Eindhoven newspaper Omroep Brabant are reporting that Philip Cocu has clinched his fourth reinforcement for the PSV squad of the transfer window, with Karim Rekik joining on a season-long loan from English Premier League side Manchester City.

20130706 - Karim Rekik

The highly-rated Rekik, an 18-year-old Dutch/Tunisian central defender, will be unveiled and will join up with his new side on Monday.

Rekik signed for Manchester City from Feyenoord in the summer of 2011, and made his debut appearance for the first team in the Dublin Super Cup in pre-season. He made his official first team debut for Manchester City on 21 September 2011 against Birmingham City in the third round of the League Cup, making a substitute appearance. In 2011/12 he was loaned to Portsmouth making eight starts and last season he spent it in the English second tier, The Championship, with Blackburn Rovers, but unfortunately only made five appearances for the Lancashire club.

This is the first deal between the Eindhoven club and Manchester City since beginning a partnership back in May.



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NEWS: Adam Maher… Holland’s hottest property!

Adam Maher – wanted by the Premier League’s best

It is no surprise to many following the game in the Netherlands that AZ attacking midfielder Adam Maher is perhaps most coveted Dutch footballer at the moment. 

Earlier this year in the January transfer window, English Premier League clubs knocked on the door of AZ Alkmaar, and now as the season ends and clubs around Europe await the opening of a new window, the English superpowers are ready to rumble throughout the summer for the Ducth international.

The Morrocan-born Oranje star is wanted by Eredivisie giants PSV and Ajax but the top clubs from the Premier League are in the market and they very well may tempt the playmaker to head to the British Isles.

British newspaper The Mirror have reported that Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are some clubs that Maher would like to attract.

In AZ, they are only too well aware of the foreign interest. On Maher, as what happens with many young Dutch talents an excessively high price tag has been slapped on so that AZ can make some major profit. It is rumoured that interested clubs can tempt AZ to sell him for around £15.4m, which is approximately equivalent to €18m.

But which club is the preference for Maher?  Maher himself does not except anything to happen and says to he will wait until the summer. “I look to see which clubs are interested but nothing will be discussed until the summer. “

But as friend of the site, Scottish-based Dutch football expert Peter McVitie added, Maher has said over and over that he wishes to stay in Holland: ‘He has maintained since January that he wants to stay in Eredivisie and, since February, he has made clear that he wants to join one of Ajax or PSV in the summer. He lives in Amsterdam and has praised Ajax several times in recent weeks and he has actually said that he has an idea which club he would prefer to join.’

For Maher, who would like to leave with his ailing club, it is hoped that when he does leave this summer, AZ make as much as they can so they use the funds to be a force in the Eredivisie again.



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