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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019

PSG sign teenage defender from Ajax

Mitchel Bakker has completed the switch to the Ligue 1 champions after struggling for first-team opportunities in Amsterdam.

Mitchel Bakker (file pic).
Mitchel Bakker (file pic).

PARIS-SAINT GERMAIN’S recruitment drive has continued with the signing of Dutch defender Mitchel Bakker from Ajax on a free transfer.

Bakker, 19, has put pen to paper on a four-year contract at Parc des Princes to become the Ligue 1 side’s fourth new arrival in less than a week.

Ander Herrera and Marcin Bulka joined on frees after leaving Manchester United and Chelsea respectively, while PSG reportedly paid €18 million to secure Pablo Sarabia from Sevilla.

As with Herrera and Bulka, Bakker makes the switch to the French capital for free, having reached an agreement to join PSG in January.

Netherlands U19 international Bakker made two first-team appearances for Eredivisie champions Ajax, both during the KNVB Beker in 2018.

The left-back was named on the bench for a pair of Champions League matches last term as Erik ten Hag’s team went on to reach the semi-finals.

He featured more heavily for Jong Ajax, who play in Dutch football’s second tier, making 22 appearances and setting up three goals in the league.

Bakker is not the only Ajax player PSG have shown interest in. Thomas Tuchel’s team have been heavily linked with a move for the Eredivisie champions’ captain, Matthijs de Ligt, but have faced competition from Juventus, who are close to completing the signing, and Barcelona.

They were also rumoured to be looking at midfielder Donny van de Beek and winger David Neres.

While they have been busy bringing in new signings, PSG waved goodbye to Dani Alves, Gianluigi Buffon and Adrien Rabiot for free, with the latter two joining Juventus.

Grzegorz Krychowiak, Moussa Diaby, Timothy Weah and Giovani Lo Celso have also been sold. 

There is also growing speculation surrounding Neymar’s future at the club. The Brazilian attacker has been linked with a return to Barcelona, while Real Madrid remain interested in buying him. 

Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu said this week that Neymar wants to leave France but PSG will not sell him .

“We know that [Neymar] wants to leave PSG, we know that, but we also know PSG do not want him to go. There is no way,” he said.

“Do we want him to come? We don’t talk about players from other teams, we have the maximum respect as an institution. There is nothing we can do.”

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