The Dutch No. 1 looks set to be on his way to the Italian capital after the Serie A outfit significantly upped its bid and his current club paved the way for a transfer.Ajax and Roma are reportedly close to coming to a final agreement over the signing of Dutch international goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, reports from the Netherlands suggests.
Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad claims that the Serie A giant has lodged a second, improved bid for the 28-year-old, increasing the offer from around 5 million euros to between 8-9m.
Ajax is thought to be willing to accept this improved offer, with the shot-stopper's contract set to expire in the summer of 2012. Roma has already agreed personal terms with the player, who has made almost 200 league appearances during his nine years in Amsterdam.
Negotiations began in earnest yesterday between the clubs with telephone discussions followed up by a written bid. Stekelenburg's agent, Rob Jansen, traveled to the Italian capital yesterday and said: "We have confidence that things will work out."
Meanwhile, Ajax sporting director Danny Blind has said that while the club will not stand in the way of a move, it wants to receive a fair price for a player whom it holds in high regard.
"The deal has not collapsed and the Italians are making progress. It is clear that we don't want to lose Maarten as he is a magnificent goalkeeper," he told De Telegraaf. "On the other hand, we won't prevent such a move for him. We do want the right price for him and that is more than 5m euros.
Roma had also been linked with a move for Espanyol's Carlos Kameni, however, the interest in the Cameroon international has faded, with the focus having switched to Stekelenburg.