KHARKOV, UKRAINE - JUNE 17: Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal battles for the ball with Gregory van der Wiel of Netherlands during the UEFA EURO 2012 group B match between Portugal and Netherlands at Metalist Stadium on June 17, 2012 in Kharkov, Ukraine. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Gregory Van der Wiel has been on the radar of Chelsea fans since he was first mentioned as a possible target after the 2010 World Cup. He's still worth watching, as Chelsea still haven't added right back depth despite seemingly seeing several of their reported targets being strongly linked to moves elsewhere. Van der Wiel had some comments about his treatment at Ajax today, but first we'll look at a comment made by Frank de Boer:
We want players who are under contract for another year, not free to depart. We also give players time limits to extend or carry on a serious conversation. If they do not accept the offer, we take action. No, not to the second team, but maybe they will play less.
So it sounds as if the club are telling Van der Wiel that he's either got to extend, accept wherever they decide to sell him, or settle for less minutes regardless of the fact that he's clearly first choice based on ability. Gregory had the following to say in response:
I know the policy of the club now. It's become clear to me that Ajax wants me to leave. Therefore, I am put under pressure. It's no fun when you leave. Actually, the option to remain has been removed. That is no more chance of that for me now. I hope that fans of the club know that i have been here since I was seven, it was my dream was to play for this club and all those years that I've given one hundred percent. And I will continue to do so until the last day I'm here.
Doesn't sound too pretty, does it? If there was any doubt that Ajax are trying to move the right back, there really shouldn't be. Van der Wiel is still an interesting name, because no matter how overrated you may feel he is, I really can't see a reasonable argument that he's not a clear upgrade to both Paulo Ferriera and Sam Hutchinson at this point. Maybe we're interested, maybe we're not, but he's almost certainly going to be on the move this summer. Stay tuned...