'I hope that he stays with Ajax' - Ten Hag optimistic that Real Madrid target Van de Beek will remain

Donny van de Beek Ajax 2018-19
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It appears the Netherlands star will remain in Amsterdam amid interest from the Spanish capital giants

Real Madrid target Donny van de Beek could stay at Ajax despite interest from Zinedine Zidane's team, according to the Eredivise champions' coach Erik ten Hag.

The 22-year-old midfielder has already confirmed Madrid are in talks with Ajax over his transfer as the La Liga giants struggle to sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United.

However, it seems the Netherlands international Van de Beek will remain in Amsterdam - with a current update from Ten Hag suggesting a transfer wasn't close.

"[Van de Beek] only dedicates himself to playing," Ten Hag said ahead of Tuesday's second leg against PAOK, with the third-round Champions League qualifier locked at 2-2.

"I guess and I hope that he stays with us this season.

"Otherwise, I will hear from [Ajax's director of football,] Marc Overmars."

Van de Beek starred as Ajax earned a draw away to PAOK in the opening leg in Thessaloniki, while he has managed two goals and two assists in two Eredivisie matches this season.

His former teammate Frenkie de Jong, who joined Madrid's rivals Barcelona last month, says he believes Van de Beek can be a success at the Santiago Bernabeu .

"I would prefer him to stay at Ajax because I wouldn't have him as an opponent and Ajax would stay strong," De Jong said.

"But, no, of course, when it's all settled, and if he moves to Madrid, I am really happy for him. I think he deserves it. He's a great player. Then I will go see him in Spain!"

"I am pretty sure he has the ability.

"I think he showed it last season in the Champions League, especially in the knockout rounds.

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"I think he has shown to the world and everyone in Europe he has the ability to play at that level."

Van de Beek made 57 appearances for Ajax in 2018-19, scoring 17 goals and supplying 13 assists as Ten Hag's men clinched an Eredivisie and KNVB Beker double and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.

If Ajax manage to overcome PAOK in their third-round Champions League qualifier, they will still have to win one more two-leg match between August 20-28 to make the group stage of the main tournament.