Noa Lang has made it clear he plans to become a first-team regular at Ajax this season despite interest from Scottish Premiership champions Celtic, according to AD.
Even with Hakim Ziyech completing his big-money move to Chelsea, forcing your way into the heart of Erik ten Hag’s XI could be easier said than done.
Zakaria Labyad enjoyed an impressive pre-season at the Eredivisie giants while, in Mohammed Kudus, Ajax have also signed a golden boy nominee with a startling goalscoring record from his box-to-box role.
Brazilian wonderkid Antony is the club’s new £18 million record signing and, further forward, Quincy Promes, Dusan Tadic and David Neres are all staying put.
However, such intense competition hasn’t stopped the adaptable Lang from dreaming of a regular role in Ten Hag’s first team after an impressive loan spell at FC Twente.
“(Ten Hag) thinks I came back from Twente as an adult. He also talks to me a lot at the club. I get compliments,” says Lang, who scored a hat-trick on his full Eredivisie debut in December.
“Ajax sees it in me. They give me a lot of confidence. It is not negotiable for the coach that I am leaving. He told me and my agent (that I have to stay).
“I’m just not working on that (a transfer). I’m trying to make it happen here. Ajax is and remains my dream.
“I want to play weekly – that’s why I keep everything open – but my intention is definitely to stay here. I fight hard for as many minutes as possible. I want to make it happen here at Ajax.”
Goal reported in August that Celtic were interested in the Netherlands U21 international but, in truth, he would hardly be guaranteed a key role under Neil Lennon at Parkhead either.
Especially with Moi Elyounoussi returning from Southampton to nail down his place in Lang’s favoured left-wing role.
Celtic’s record transfer sales
£25 million (Arsenal)
£19.7 million (Lyon)
£12.5 million (Southampton)
Virgil van Dijk
£11.5 million (Southampton)
£10 million (Southampton)