Brighton make Colwill decision and target former Rangers star

Daniel Cabot Kerkdijk
Daniel Cabot Kerkdijk
  • 2 Jun 2023 02:15 CDT
  • 2 min read
Calvin Bassey, Ajax,
© ProShots

Ajax could wave goodbye to Calvin Bassey after just one season in Amsterdam, with reports that Brighton are eyeing up a move for the former Rangers player.

The Seagulls have tried to sign Chelsea’s Levi Colwill on a permanent basis but have been knocked back with their first offer, which was a club-record equalling €35m bid.

Article continues under the video

Colwill impressed on loan at the AmEx Stadium last season as Brighton qualified for Europe, while he has never played for the Chelsea first team, despite being at the club since U9 level.

Although Chelsea must sell some players for financial reasons, the club has great confidence in Colwill's abilities and a sale is not on the agenda. The Londoners therefore want to extend the defender’s contract, which is presently set until 2026.

As such, other options are being explored, with Bassey and Shakhtar Donetsk defender Mykola Matvienko seen as alternatives to Colwill.

The 27-year-old Ukrainian signed a new contract with Shakhtar Donetsk three months ago until the end of 2027, so the question is whether a transfer is a realistic scenario.

It is also still unclear whether Bassey is on the market. Much will depend on the new coach that Ajax have yet to appoint for next season, as well as the plans of director of football affairs Sven Mislintat.

Bassey’s difficult time in Ajax

Bassey was presented at Ajax last summer as the successor to Lisandro Martinez, who left for Manchester United. Just like the World Cup winner, the 23-year-old defender can play as a left-central defender as well as a left-back.

At Rangers, he previously mainly played as a left-back, but after the arrival of coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst he switched to a more central position.

Bassey's first year at Ajax was not great, although many players fell through the lower level in a difficult campaign. Bassey played 39 times in all competitions, returning one goal and five assists.

The Nigeria international also enjoyed interest from various Premier League clubs last summer, but he opted for a five-year contract with Ajax.

The Eredivisie club paid €23m for him, although that could increase to €26.5m through bonuses.

Mike Verweij of De Telegraaf has been assuring for several weeks that an unknown club from the Premier League is willing to match Ajax's purchase amount. It appears that could well be Brighton, which is good news for Chelsea.

Don’t miss the next big transfer!

Get the latest transfer insights and analyses directly in your mailbox.