Completely under the radar! Ajax makes by far the strangest transfer of the year with Lucas Ocampos

 Completely under the radar!  Ajax makes by far the strangest transfer of the year with Lucas Ocampos

Lucas Ocampos is currently playing at Ajax – for that to happen, the Argentinian has to undertake a real odyssey in the summer.

Almost exactly three hours – that’s how long a flight from Seville to Amsterdam and vice versa takes. Lucas Ocampos will probably know that very well, because he will be allowed to fly that route several times in a row in the summer of 2022 – albeit not always entirely voluntarily. A look back …

Ajax, the Dutch flagship club and the country’s record champions, have just sold Brazil star Antony to Manchester United for 100 million euros. An absolute record transfer in the history of the Eredivisie, a player has never been more expensive.

However, Ajax urgently needs a replacement, thanks to the excellent transfer strategy and the recent mega deal, there is plenty of money – technical director Gerry Hamstra (52), board boss Edwin van der Sar (51) and sports director Klaas-Jan Huntelaar know that (39).

Ultimately, Lucas Ocampos emerged as the object of desire: 28 years old, Argentinian and just as flexible on the offensive flanks as his predecessor Antony. An agreement is quickly reached with the negotiating partner Sevilla: 20 million euros transfer fee!

Talks with the player are also going well, and agreement on a long-term contract is not long in coming. Ocampos sets off for Amsterdam, the medical check is a mere formality. Now it’s time for the player: back to Seville, pack your bags.

What the ten-time international did not know at the time: it will not be his last flight back to Seville. Because when Ocampos hits Amsterdam again a short time later as a supposed Ajax player, there is suddenly a big bang: deal canceled!

Ocampos’ Ajax transfer burst! Supervisory Board vetoes

What happened? The Ajax board of directors vetoed an obligation at the last moment. The alleged reason: 20 million euros, a long-term contract and a decent salary for a 28-year-old player are clearly too expensive.

According to the supervisory board, the club should rather retain young players, develop them and then sell them on profitably – as with Antony, who came from FC Sao Paulo two years earlier as a 20-year-old for 15.75 million euros.

An embarrassing situation for everyone involved, which is why Huntelaar – if you believe several media reports – personally flies to Seville to apologize for the failed transfer. For Ocampos this also means: straight back to Seville.

And now? How do you get out of such a situation? Very simple: you simply agree on a new deal. Namely for a rental business. Ajax have secured Ocampos’ services for €4m for one season and have a €16m buy option.

Ajax: Ocampos loan ended prematurely in winter?

And yes, you can guess: Ocampos can get back on the plane and fly to Amsterdam. All’s well that ends well? If you look at the last Ajax games, however, you may have strong doubts about that. Ocampos is no longer on the plane, but mostly on the bench.

Ocampos can hardly get past the strong offensive line around Steven Bergwijn, Steven Berghuis, Mohammed Kudus, Dusan Tadic and Brian Brobbey – he has spent the last three games completely on the bench, with only 100 minutes of play in the league so far.

If you believe the Andalusian radio station Canal Sur Radio, all parties would obviously not be averse to ending the loan early in the winter. Although Ocampo’s chances of a World Cup nomination can be calculated, the situation in Amsterdam is anything but satisfactory.

And that’s why it could soon be said again: off to the plane back to Seville!

Ajax Amsterdam: The most important transfers in summer 2022

additions departures

Steven Bergwijn (Tottenham Hotspur/31.25m)

Antony (Manchester United/95 million)

Calvin Bassey (Glasgow Rangers/23m)

Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United/57.37m)

Brian Brobbey (RB Leipzig/16.35m.

Sébastien Haller (BVB/31 million)

Owen Wijndal (AZ Alkmaar/10m)

Ryan Gravenberch (FC Bayern/18.5 million)

Ahmetcan Kaplan (Trabzonspor/9.5M)

Perr Schuurs (FC Torino/9 million)

Francisco Conceição (FC Porto/5m)

Nicolás Tagliafico (Olympique Lyon/4.2 million)

Jorge Sanchez (CF America/5M)

Dominik Kotarski (HNK Gorica/1 million)

Lucas Ocampos (FC Sevilla/4m loan fee)

André Onana (Inter Milan/free transfer)

Lorenzu Luca (Pisa/1m rental fee)

Noussair Mazraoui (FC Bayern/free transfer)


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