Football News

Ajax confirm signing of potential De Ligt replacement amid Barcelona transfer talk

By Ben Green

Published: 19:15, 17 April 2019

Ajax have confirmed the signing of SC Heerenveen’s American-born Dutch defender Kik Pierie, who will join the club on July 1.

The 18-year-old centre-back will relocate to the Johan Cruijff ArenA at the end of the season and has put pen-to-paper on a five-year contract in Amsterdam.

Who is Kik Pierie? Five key things to know… 

  1. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Pierie joined the Heerenveen youth system in 2011.
  2. He made his debut in the 2016/17 season and has since racked up 67 appearances for the first team.
  3. During that time the teenage defender has netted two goals and registered five assists.
  4. Pierie has been capped at numerous youth levels for the Dutch national set-up.
  5. He has made 27 starts at centre-back, and left-back for Heerenveen in the Eredivisie this term.

The deal will see the teenage starlet remain at the club until June 2024, but will raise immediate question marks about the future of current centre-back star Matthijs de Ligt.

Pierie has been a mainstay at the back for De Superfriezen this season, with his performances in the heart of the club’s defence helping Jan Olde Riekerink’s men to 10th in the Dutch top-flight.

The versatile defender has been capped 10 times for the Netherlands U19 team and was even linked with a move to the Premier League before Ajax snapped him up.

According to Dutch outlet De Telegraaf, Pierie underwent a medical last week and has completed a deal with Ajax for a reported fee of €4m (£3.4m).

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De Ligt off to Barcelona?

Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong has already completed a move to the Catalan club, but reports have intensified regarding his teammate Matthijs de Ligt.

The 19-year-old captain is one of the rising stars in European football after he helped send Ajax to the Champions League semi-final thanks to a winning header in Turin, at the expense of Juventus.

Barcelona have reportedly been keeping tabs on the player, and will supposedly make a move this summer, with Ajax manager Erik ten Hag already conceding the chances of the teenage sensation staying are “zero”.

The deal for Pierie has now added significant fuel to those rumours, while the transfer has also been Ajax’s second signing in as many weeks after they completed a deal for Romania’s Razvan Marin from Standard Liege.