Justin Kluivert set to join Roma and leave Ajax against father’s advice
LONDON — Patrick Kluivert said his son Justin has gone against his advice to stay at Ajax for one more season as the 19-year-old reportedly closes in on an €18 million (£15.8m) move to Roma.
Reports in Italy this week suggested that Roma are finalising a deal to sign Justin Kluivert, who registered 10 goals and five assists in 30 Eredivisie appearances this season and has been linked with a number of top Premier League clubs.
Patrick Kluivert, the former Barcelona star and Netherlands international, said it is almost certain his son will move this summer despite the fact that he counselled him to stay in Amsterdam, but added that he will support him in every decision he makes in his career.
“I personally said to him maybe it’s better to stay one more year at Ajax, to make some kilometres to be important for the team,” said Kluivert, who will feature for the World XI against an England team in Soccer Aid for UNICEF at Old Trafford on Sunday.
“He’s 19 years old. He’s still young but he makes his own decisions, and as a dad, I have to stand behind all the decisions that he makes. It looks like he’s going to leave Ajax. I think it’s 90 percent sure that he’s going away.”
Kluivert himself left Ajax at 21 to join AC Milan in summer 1997. The move did not work out and he spent just one season at the San Siro before transferring to Barcelona, and he warned that his son will have to be prepared for the challenges that his new environment will bring.
“If he’s got the feeling to leave then he’s got to do that, but he needs to know what things are coming on his way,” Kluivert said.
“It will be difficult because if you’re 19 and you’re going to another country, it’s not easy. You have to pick wisely what club and also talk really deeply about how his progress will be.”
Liam is ESPN FC’s Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.