Ajax news

Van der Wiel hints at Ajax exit

April 28, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Ajax defender Gregory van der Wiel has hinted that he is ready to leave Holland to play at the highest level possible.

Gregory Van der Wiel
GettyImagesGregory Van der Wiel is attracting attention.

Van der Wiel, 23, has been attracting the interest of Bayern and Barcelona, with Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool now also showing an interest in him. After a starring role for Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup, the defender will not be short of options if he chooses to move in the summer and could be available for as little as £9 million as his contract expires in 2012.

"I've never left Amsterdam and I don't know what life is like elsewhere. It would be a huge challenge, but it ought to work out well, I'm sure of that,'' he told FIFA. "I want to win trophies, keep progressing and play at the very highest level."

Arsenal have also been credited with an interest in the right-back after Van der Wiel revealed his idol was Gunners and former Feyenoord striker Robin Van Persie, but the Ajax man claims that that was a mistake.

"I should never have told the press that my boyhood idol was Robin van Persie," he admitted. "The [Ajax] supporters took a long time to forgive me for that."