Chelsea set to enter race for Ajax ace

Ricardo van Rhijn (Ajax)Chelsea are ready to enter the battle for Ajax defender Ricardo van Rhijn, according to reports from The Express.

The 22-year-old has emerged as one of European football’s top talents after replacing one-time Blues target Gregory van der Wiel – who joined Paris Saint-Germain last summer – as the Amsterdam club’s first choice right-back.

A string of impressive displays for the Eredivisie giants has seen interest from across the continent spike, with Italian trio Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus all thought to be keen.

Chelsea have now emerged as candidates, with Jose Mourinho looking at signing a new right-sided defender.

‘The Special One’ has handed Branislav Ivanovic the ole after being unconvinced by Cesar Azpilicueta’s abilities.

The Spaniard has been linked with a January move away from Stamford Bridge, which could leave the Portuguese coach in desperate need of a back-up option.

Ajax are believed to value van Rhijn at around £7m, which has attracted Mourinho.

The ex-Real Madrid boss sees the Dutchman as a good long-term investment and somebody who can be a part of his ambitious plans for the London club.

The youngster is a product of Ajax’s much-lauded youth set-up and has made seven senior appearances for the Netherlands at senior level.

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