Sunderland join rivals in pursuit of Ajax ace
Sunderland have joined local rivals Newcastle in a race to sign Ajax star Vurnon Anita, according to The Evening Chronicle
The Magpies had tabled a bid between £4-5 million but it was turned down by Ajax, who reportedly are looking for double that fee.
The 23-year old spent much of last season playing in a defensive midfield role. However, it is thought that both clubs in the north-east chasing his signature will look to utilise him in his preferred position at left-back.
Whilst, Newcastle have Davide Santon to keep Anita competing for his position should the Dutchman sign at the Sports Direct Arena, Sunderland are without a recognised left-back in their squad after the departure of George McCartney to West Ham. Kieron Richardson featured in that position for much of last season but his defensive qualities are minimal and it is thought that Martin O’Neill will want a player with International experience in that position. Having signed Carlos Cuellar earlier this week, the Black Cats manager will want to booster his defence which was considerably leaky in parts this year.
Anita has been an ever present in the Ajax team since 2008, winning 3 caps for Holland in that time. However, it is in the last two years that the defender has flourished, assisting Ajax in winning back to back Eredivisie Championships.