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Tottenham Hotspur will face a battle with Ajax to sign Anderlecht winger Paul Mukairu with his agent pushing for a move to Holland instead, as he told Score Nigeria.

The route from Amsterdam to the white half of North London is one well travelled.

But could Mukairu cut out the middle man and put pen to paper with Spurs without first honing his talents in the feted Johan Cruyff finishing school, unlike Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen and Davinson Sanchez?

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Well, this all depends on what Mukairu has planned.

Does the 21-year-old Nigerian think he is ready to challenge Heung-Min Son and co for a place in Jose Mourinho’s first-team?

Or would he be better off at Ajax, learning his trade under an esteemed tutor like Erik ten Hag at a club famed for putting promising youngsters on the path to superstardom?

The Mirror (21 February, page 67) claim that Tottenham are confident of winning the race for Mukairu’s signature, with a fee of £4 million potentially enough to get the deal done.

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But Ajax are hardly backing down just yet.

“Ajax are interested in Paul,” a representative speaking on behalf of the highly-rated left-winger explained.

“He is a highly technical player who will fit the Ajax style. He is not yet the finished article and Ajax would be a great club for him to continue with his development.

“It will also be a chance for the player to feature in the Champions League season after season.”

After Quincy Promes’s return to Spartak Moscow, a space has opened up on the left side of Ajax’s attack for a young forward who has produced four goals and four assists during his breakthrough season across the border.

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