Cuenca keen on Ajax stay
Isaac Cuenca says he would prefer to remain on loan at Ajax next season than to return to parent club Barcelona.
Cuenca, whose playing time since joining the Dutch side on loan in January has been limited by a knee injury, again missed last weekend's 5-0 win over Willem II, which sealed a third consecutive Eredivisie title for the club.
Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars was reportedly in Catalonia last week to speak with his Barca counterpart Andoni Zubizarreta about extending the loan for another 12 months. While no deal had yet been agreed, the Reus-born winger, 22, told Mundo Deportivo that he hoped to continue his development in the Netherlands next season.
"I want to stay at Ajax," Cuenca said. "This team is good for me because I can play more here than at Barca. I know Barca is the biggest, but I like it here, and would like to stay another season. I hope it can be sorted out."
Cuenca said he could not comment on speculation fellow La Masia graduates Marc Muniesa, 21, and Sergi Roberto, 21, could join him at the Amsterdam Arena next season, but said Ajax was an ideal place for young blaugrana players to gain experience as both clubs shared the same philosophy on the game.
"That is a personal matter, it depends on what each one wants," he said. "I would tell them, and everyone in general, that if they want to come to a team that plays like Barca, to have minutes on the pitch and to play in the Champions League, Ajax is a very good option.
"The system of play is the same. The two teams want to attack and play good football. At both clubs the players who move up from the youth teams have already learned all the automatic moves.”
Having ex-Ajax and Barcelona defender Frank de Boer as coach had been a real help, Cuenca said.
"He is a leader in the dressing-room, everyone respects him,” he said. "And he knows a lot about football, and the training sessions are very educational. Personally, he has been very attentive with me, and speaks to me in Spanish. Frank will be a great coach.”
Ajax playmaker Christian Eriksen, 21, who has been heavily linked with a move to Premier League sides Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham in recent months, was good enough to play for Barca, suggested his current team-mate.
"Eriksen is an 'interior' with a lot of quality," Cuenca said. "He has said nothing to me personally, but there is a lot of talk of him going to the Premier League."