Roma and Borussia Dortmund tried to sign David Neres during the summer transfer window, the Ajax forward has revealed.
Neres has been a regular for the Amsterdam club over the last two years, featuring in 12 of their 13 Eredivisie outings this term and racking up four league assists and one goal.
The 21-year-old Brazilian was signed from Sao Paulo in January 2017 and featured as a 62nd minute substitute in Ajax’s 2-0 Europa League final defeat to Manchester United later that year.
He cemented his place in the side last season, scoring 14 times in the Dutch top flight, and has since attracted plenty of attention from some of Europe’s top club’s.
He told Goal: “Official offers came [from Roma and Dortmund], some rumours too. I honestly wasn’t following closely, but I was in doubt about what could happen. My wish was always to remain in Ajax a little longer because I can evolve and win titles.
“It’s a club that value the players raised in its youth system, as every club should do.
“Ajax knows to bet in youth potential, and that’s why it creates so many players. It’s a player machine because there’s a bet not only on Dutch players, but there’s also a worldwide search for talent.”
Last season’s Eredivisie runners-up also have sought-after Dutch duo Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong among their ranks, and are famous for producing some of the biggest Netherlands names of the past last, like Johan Cruyff, Frank Rijkaard and Dennis Bergkamp.
Although Ajax failed to get past the qualifying stages of either European competition last season, they have put in a strong showing in Champions League Group E this term.
They secured a point at the Allianz Arena in October when they drew 1-1 with Bayern Munchen and now have the opportunity to qualify with a game to spare if they beat the group’s bottom side AEK Athens on Tuesday.
“Ajax is going well, it is strong searching its objectives,” Neres continued. “I believe it will work. This season’s team is stronger, more meshed, we gained mature and experienced players. We have a great team, and we prove it in the UCL, against Bayern Munchen and Benfica. We can face any team.”