Ajax chasing England Under-21 star & Manchester United target Clyne

The right-back is set to leave Crystal Palace this summer when his contract expires, with the Dutch giants competing with the Red Devils, Newcastle and Everton for his signature

By Ed Aarons

Dutch giants Ajax are in the frame for England Under-21 star Nathaniel Clyne as he weighs up offers to leave Crystal Palace, Goal.com has learned.

Clyne is out of contract at Selhurst Park this summer, with Newcastle, Manchester United and Everton all interested in signing him. But with Ajax boss Frank de Boer looking to replace the departing Gregory van der Wiel, the 21-year-old has emerged as a target after being recommended last year by former Palace player and Dutch legend Edgar Davids.

However, the defender would face stiff competition for a starting berth were he move to the Eredivisie champions.

Netherlands Under-21 starlet Ricardo van Rhijn is widely expected to become the club's first-choice right-back in the 2012-13 campaign after impressing this season, while promising youngster Ruben Ligeon is highly rated in Amsterdam, too.

"Palace have been fantastic for his development but there’s always a time for a player to move and it seems it could be that time" - Clyne's advisor Daniel Wilson

Clyne’s advisor Daniel Wilson admitted the Stockwell-born player is a wanted man but will take his time before deciding which club he will join next season.   

“We need to know where he is going for the start of pre-season so we’re not in any rush. It’s a very big decision for him so he will take his time and make sure he makes the right choice for his own career and next step of his development,” he told Goal.com.

“Palace have offered him a contract but we are looking at all his options at the moment. All I can say is that he is a very wanted young man because Nathaniel is one of the best young full backs in England and he is very well thought of both at home and abroad.”

Clyne has made more than 150 appearances for the Eagles since making his debut back in 2008. He rejected the chance to join Wolves in 2010 and is now a free agent after refusing to sign a new deal at Selhurst Park.

That means any potential suitors could be forced to pay compensation of up to £5 million to secure his services but Wilson does not think that would scupper any move. 

He said: “Compensation is not an issue – it’s up to the clubs to agree how much it should be and if they can’t agree then it will go to a tribunal. Wherever he goes, hopefully they will agree but I don’t have any jurisdiction over how much they will ask for.

"Palace have been fantastic for his development but there’s always a time for a player to move and it seems it could be that time.”

Palace boss Dougie Freedman has already moved to replace Clyne, snapping up Joel Ward from cash-strapped Portsmouth on Monday.

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