what did you miss: de ligt to leave ajax amsterdam

06:30    10 May 2019

Ajax's Matthijs de Ligt celebrates scoring
Matthijs de Ligt is likely to join one of England or Spain's big clubs ahead of the 2019-20 season, Ajax Amsterdam CEO Edwin van der Sar has confirmed.

Speaking to Sky Sports Italia ahead of the club's 3-2 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in Amsterdam on Wednesday, the former Manchester United and Juventus goalkeeper revealed that the club captain will in all likelihood leave Ajax at the end of the season.

"I think these will be De Ligt's final games with Ajax, but I hope he goes out on a high. He's been here since he was a child and will end up at a big club. I think he'll go to England or Spain," De Sar said.

Barcelona, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Juventus are among the clubs linked with the 19-year-old's services.

Barcelona are reportedly favourites to land the centre-back's signature, having already signed Ajax teammate Frenkie de Jong.

De Ligt will be hoping to lead the club to a domestic double this season, having already clinched the KNVB Beker.

Ajax currently top the Eredivisie standings, level on points with PSV with two games remaining.

The Dutch international has scored seven goals in 53 appearances across all competitions this season.

Mauricio Pochettino hails Spurs ‘superheroes’

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has hailed his players as “superheroes” following their dramatic comeback against AFC Ajax in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night.

The English side went 0-2 (0-3 on aggregate) down in their semifinal, second-leg clash at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam, but a second-half hat-trick from Brazilian forward Lucas Moura – including a winner deep in injury time – secured a 3-3 aggregate draw and saw Spurs advance on away goals.

They will meet fellow Premier League side Liverpool in the final in Madrid on June 1.

After Pochettino spent more than 20 minutes on the field with his squad celebrating with the travelling Spurs fans, he told the media: "This is one of the most important nights of my life - it is difficult to describe my feelings.

"I said before my players were heroes - now they are superheroes. The most important thing I want to say is congratulations to them - they own the football. They delivered the job.

"To go to the final is close to a miracle. Nobody believed in us in the beginning of the season. But we fully deserve to win tonight and be there."

He added, "Everything in the second half was amazing. The first half was so cruel, how we went down. We did not deserve this because we made many chances.

"But at half-time we made some changes and started to play and always believed, and never gave up.

"We have been so tough on the players in our five years here, to deliver their best. And tonight I learned so much from them. They are the best teachers. I am so grateful to them.

"All the effort we have made in the last five years, it is today when you have the satisfaction and realise it was all worth it.

"Its been an amazing season in our new home and now to close this chapter with the final and the chance to win it can be amazing too."
 

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