De Jong backflips on Ajax departure intentions
Ajax Amsterdam captain Siem de Jong has changed his tune and has announced he wants to stay with the Dutch league champions.
De Jong has been widely expected to leave Ajax during the European summer transfer window with the 24-year-old attacker having claimed last month he needed to leave the Netherlands if he was to earn a spot with the Dutch national team for next year's World Cup finals in Brazil.
But de Jong has claimed he wants to send 'a signal' to his Ajax teammates Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld, who have also been linked with moves away from the Eredivisie title-holders.
"It would be nice if this group stays together," de Jong said after Ajax's 3-2 win over Werder Bremen on Friday.
"I have spent the whole pre-season here already and I have a good feeling about the group and the staff.
"I'm here enjoying myself.
"I do not see why I should go now.
"I spoke to the coach yesterday and said that they can count on me."
Ajax head coach Frank de Boer confirmed he has spoken to de Jong and is convinced the Swiss-born Dutchman, who can play either up front or as an attacking midfielder, is committed to the club's plans for the coming season.
"He knows what we are doing and he fully supports it," de Boer said.
"We have a fantastic group, we want him to stay."
De Jong has scored 50 goals in 150 matches for Ajax and struck 12 times in the Eredivisie last season as the club won their 32nd league title.