Arsenal face fresh competition for Ajax wonderkid

Willem Leijgraf
Willem Leijgraf
  • Updated: 2 Mar 2024 15:45 GMT
  • 3 min read
Jorrel Hato

Jorrel Hato is seen as one of the few bright spots at Ajax of the past year and a half, but the question is how long the Dutch giants can continue to enjoy the talented defender.

According to Italian outlet Tuttosport, the 17-year-old has appeared on the radar of Inter, who hope to strengthen their ranks with a central defender next summer. Ajax, meanwhile, still have high hopes for an agreement with Hato on a contract extension.

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The one-time Netherlands international signed his first professional deal in March 2022, but due to his age, this contract only runs until 2025. Johan Inan wrote in mid-February that the negotiations between Ajax and Hato were almost over because an agreement had been reached in principle. However, more than two weeks after the news from Algemeen Dagblad, there is still no official announcement.

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Inter are hoping to take advantage of Hato's situation at Ajax in their search for a new central defender for the future. The Italian top club have two experienced forces at the heart of the defence with Francesco Acerbi (35) and Stefan de Vrij (31) but want to make further signings with a view to the future.

Jorrel Hato
© IMAGO - Jorrel Hato

Arsenal keen on Hato too

In the battle for Hato, however, Inter face competition from Arsenal, who have been targeting the very young defender at least since December. Mikel Arteta is keen to bolster his defence in the summer and, after signing Jurrien Timber last year, has identified another Ajax talent as an option for his backline.

As for Inter, Hato is not the only horse the Champions League finalists are betting on. In addition to the Ajax kid, Giorgio Scalvini of Atalanta, Alessandro Buongiorno of Torino and Leny Yoro of Lille are also on the wish list of Italy's current league leaders.

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Additionally, Perr Schuurs is still held in high regard at Inter. The 24-year-old central defender, who swapped Ajax for Torino in 2022, is currently struggling with a knee injury and was eyed by the Nerrazzuri last summer.

Inter face an asking price of at least €40 million for Scalvini and Buongiorno. The price tag for Yoro is much higher than that. According to French media, Lille want no less than €60m for their wonderkid. It is not known for what transfer fee Hato may leave Ajax, but the young defender currently has an Estimated Transfer Value (ETV) of €17.4m.

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