Thursday, September 28, 2023 at 4:22 PM• Jeroen van Poppel

Maurice Steijn appears to have had at least some say in the purchasing policy at Ajax. The trainer of the Amsterdam team initially wanted to bring Nicolás Tagliafico back at the end of August, but when that was not possible, he himself requested that Borna Sosa be brought in as an alternative. This is evident from app traffic between Steijn and Mislintat, which is owned by Ajax transfer guru Gerjan Hamstelaarwho has now renamed his pseudonym Klerry Hunstra.

The Deadline Day transfer of Sosa, who came from VfB Stuttgart, is surrounded by question marks. The NOS revealed that the now dismissed director Mislintat informed Sosa that he could only go to Ajax if he switched agents at the last minute. Sosa did that, who came to Ajax through agent Arthur Beck. Beck appears to own three percent of the shares of Matchmetrics GmbH, a data agency in which Mislintat is a major shareholder.

Steijn was asked at the press conference last week after the Europa League match against Olympique Marseille (3-3) whether Sosa had come out of his way. “Sven arrived with Sosa, for sure. We did indicate that we thought he was a good player,” said Steijn. The coach did not mention that he himself asked for Sosa in an app to Mislintat on August 31, after the press conference of the match against Ludogorets (0-1 loss). The information about the app comes from Hamstealer and is confirmed by Football International.

Steijn initially wanted Tagliafico, as he also confirms Algemeen Dagblad. At Steijn’s request, Mislintat inquired with the left back of Olympique Lyon, who did not want to hand in a salary. Tagliafico would demand double the annual salary that Sosa earns in Amsterdam. Mislintat started with the order to cut salaries and therefore found Tagliafico too expensive.

On August 31, after the disappointing return in the Europa League play-offs against Ludogorets (0-1 loss), Steijn decided to send an app to Mislintat. The Ajax coach asked if Sosa could still be brought in on Deadline Day. Mislintat was the first to mention the name of the Croatian left back within Ajax, but Steijn also wanted him at the end. The coach provided the released salaries of Davy Klaassen (Internazionale) and Francisco Conceição (FC Porto) as a budget.

Steijn texted Mislintat that he only had two good options for the positions of left central defender and left back with Jorrel Hato and Gaston Ávila. The Ajax coach thus indirectly served Owen Wijndal (now on loan to Royal Antwerp FC) and Anass Salah-Eddine. Remarkably, Steijn chose Salah-Eddine over Ávila as a substitute for Sosa last Sunday against Feyenoord. “That was a deliberate sneer at Mislintat,” he said Hamstealer. That evening, the German director was fired by Ajax.