Van Rhijn, 22, has become a fixture of the Ajax side since Gregory van der Wiel was sold to Paris Saint-Germain, and now manager Frank de Boer has to face the possibility of him following van der Wiel out of Amsterdam in order to further his career. With Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen taking their careers elsewhere and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and Siem De Jong attracting admiring glances, it could be difficult for de Boer to convince van Rhijn to stay in Holland.
As reported last week, Frenchman Sagna appears set to leave the Emirates Stadium when his contract expires in the summer, and manager Arsene Wenger will now identify a number of targets in a bid to replace Sagna, who is in his seventh season with the Gunners.
Whilst Sime Vrsajlko (Genoa), Martin Montoya (Barcelona), Sebastian Corchia (Sochaux) and Roberto Rosales (Twente) have all recently been linked with the club, CalcioMercato suggest that van Rhijn has been identified as the man to replace Sagna.
Able to fill in at centre back alongside his regular duties as a pacey right back, van Rhijn already has seven caps for the national team, and is likely to be a part of Louis van Gaal's Holland squad at next summer's World Cup in Brazil, meaning Arsenal should move quickly to prevent him impressing other clubs, particularly with Premier League rivals Chelsea also linked with a move.
With Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp currently the assistant manager at Ajax, the former striker will be on hand to offer advice and support for the Dutch international full back, should there be legitimate interest from Wenger in January or next summer – though a switch to Arsenal should be appealing enough anyway, especially with the incredible form Wenger's side are in right now.
Wenger supposedly still has a handsome transfer budget to spend in January – even after the £42.5m signature of Mesut Ozil - and with a title challenge looking increasingly likely, the club should once again be viewed as an attractive proposition for the young stars in world football, and with Sagna's imminent departure opening up a place for guaranteed first team football, van Rhijn could favour the move to Arsenal over any other interested club, such as AC Milan.