Everton Director of Football Marcel Brands appears to have come up short in his bid to add Ajax winger David Neres to Marco Silva’s squad, as the sought-after ace has told Algemeen Dagblad that his immediate future is in Amsterdam.
Neres’ services have been in high demand this summer following Ajax’s success in reaching the Champions League Semi-Finals and lifting their first Eredivisie title since 2014, with Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain also touted as potential suitors for the 22-year-old.
However, speaking after Brazil beat Peru 3-1 to win this summer’s Copa America, the 5-cap star who started both of the Selecao’s opening fixtures pledged that his commitments are with the side who plucked him out of the Brazilian top-flight in 2017.
“A beer is allowed if you have something to celebrate,” he joked. “I have to be back at Ajax on July 28 [for pre-season training]. I don’t know yet if I’m going on vacation.
“My future is with Ajax,” he added, before turning his attention to the Copa America. “It was hard for me to lose my place, I did my best, but it wasn’t enough.
“Ultimately, I am part of the team, and it is important that we win. I can still be satisfied with that. It is great to win this prize with the national team.
“It is a dream for me and all [the] other players. Now we are going to celebrate. The party in the dressing room was good. We have danced. And then it was time to see my family.
“For me it was a good experience to be there, and play with experienced players. I now also feel older, more experienced. That is good for my growth.”
It had been suggested that Brands held advanced negotiations with Ajax chiefs in June, as he looked to usurp Paris Saint-Germain in the race for Neres’ signature, as the Parisian outfit were struggling to raise the funds needed to facilitate a transfer.
Ajax were thought to have upped their previously believed €50million (£44.8m) asking price to a staggering €90million (£80.7m), as they sought to retain one of their promising young players in a window that could see Matthijs de Ligt follow Frenkie de Jong in securing moves away from the Johan Cruijff ArenA.
The latest claims emerging from the Netherlands, this time from Neres himself, will be a bitter pill for some Toffees supporters to swallow, as many of the Goodison Park faithful have been optimistic in the potential of the Brazilian joining Everton.
These hopes only grew after Ajax signed Quincy Promes from Sevilla for a reported £14million, and as Richarlison’s relationship with the 22-year-old flourished while together on international duty at the Copa America and he pushed for the winger to join him at Goodison Park.