Negotiations on a new contract had been stuck for some time, but have accelerated in recent days, De Telegraaf reports. Mike Verweij writes that the Amsterdam club ‘finally seems to appreciate’ the 17-year-old top talent.
This has significantly increased the chances that the defender will stay at Ajaxlonger. Although the parties are rapidly approaching an agreement, it is expected that Hato’s new contract will not be signed until March 7.
That’s because of his age. The one-time Dutch international only turns 18 in March, which then allows him to pen a new deal that runs for more than three years.
Hato came into the Ajax starting line-up under John Heitinga last season and quickly grew into one of the mainstays in Amsterdam. This season, the defender has played the full 90 minutes in all 26 matches.
He has thus far managed to score once and provide three assists. The left-footer’s current contract runs until the summer of 2025. His exceptional performances have attracted the interest of big-hitters such as Liverpooland Arsenal, who could look to make Hato the long-term partner to Ibrahima Konate and William Saliba respectively.
Kelvin de Lang, who is responsible for transfer affairs at Ajax this winter, recently told Voetbal International that the club would like to continue with Hato for longer. “We would like him to stay and we are optimistic that we will reach an agreement,” said the transfer guru.
2023/2024 | Eredivisie (NLD)
Centre back (1431 Minutes played)
2023/2024 | Premier League (ENG)
Centre back (1944 Minutes played)
“It may have taken a little too long, but that is more due to all the changes in our management. But we prefer to continue together.” Ajax also hope to continue with Gabriel Misehouy and Ar’Jany Martha.
The pair also have expiring contracts: “We are also working on that,” says De Lang. “In general, I can say that we would like to continue with players who really want to play for the club in the future. That is important to us.”
“We believe that from a sporting point of view, we are also the right club for young players, which is also proven by the figures. [We are] a club where you get the chance in the first team and where you can also further develop yourself in the senior squad.”