Manchester United will allow Adnan Januzaj to leave Old Trafford on loan in January, but only until the end of the season. Dutch champions Ajax, however, want the Belgium international on an extended 18-month loan deal.
This is according to the Daily Star, who understand that Ajax are determined to build on their interest after club director Edwin van der Sar - the former Manchester United goalkeeper - admitted the Eredivisie title holders were keen on taking the 19-year-old to the Amsterdam Arena.
"Well, if you have the number of his agent: give it me with confidence,” the retired Netherlands international was quoted as saying by Dutch Football. “But I fear that we can't pay his salary."
Rooney set to replace Januzaj v City
Januzaj has started in both of Manchester United’s previous two fixtures - against West Brom and Chelsea - but is likely to find himself relegated to the substitutes’ bench on Sunday, as the Red Devils take on local rivals Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
United captain Wayne Rooney makes his return from a three-match suspension, and former club captain Gary Neville believes Januzaj is likely to be the player who makes way.
- Adnan Januzaj nominated for Golden Boy award
- Adnan Januzaj wanted by Ajax
- Adnan Januzaj scored 16 goals in 22-0 victory
"I'd imagine Rooney would come in,” Neville said on Monday Night Football. “If anything Januzaj could come out, due to the physicality of the game, but I actually think he did alright [against Chelsea].”
Tough season so far for Januzaj
Indeed, Januzaj put in a decent performance against Jose Mourinho’s side, but failed to impress against West Brom six days earlier. That may have been down to the fact he had barely played this season, though, before United’s visit to the Hawthorns.
Januzaj, who is one of the 40 young players nominated for the prestigious Golden Boy award, was one of Manchester United’s standout performers last season. But he has found first-team opportunities hard to come by under Louis van Gaal.
Van Gaal trusts Ajax
Ajax are one of the clubs Van Gaal previously managed earlier on in his career, and the veteran Dutch coach may regard the Eredivisie giants are the perfect club to nurture Januzaj and help bring the best out of his considerable talent.
But there will be many Manchester United supporters keen for the £40 million-rated Januzaj, who was described as a “young Johan Cruyff” by a senior football figure at Old Trafford earlier this season, to continue his development with the Red Devils instead.